Gorgeous antique cobalt blue 8 mm Peking glass beads are hand knotted into an endless 47 inch long strand to drape luxuriously as you choose. This is a Mandarin court necklace, one of two I acquired from a collector of antique Chinese jewelry. The other one consists of larger beads and is offered for sale separately. Very long strands of beads were worn in the Mandarin court by both men and women as an insignia of rank based on the color of beads used. Red and related shades of coral, and pink were reserved for the highest ranking; then shades of blue; then crystal and whites for the third rank. Any other color could be used for fourth rank and below except restricted colors reserved for the royal family. During the 1920s and Art Deco eras the Chinese influence was felt in Western fashions of the day with long strands of beads being the height of fashion as "flapper beads". This necklace consists of beads dating from the 1800s which were hand knotted at a later date. It measures 52 inches long with no clasp.
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