A SPECIAL LISTING FROM MY PRIVATE COLLECTION : A PRAYER BEAD STRAND IN EARLY XXth CENTURY" FATURAN".
EXTREMELY RARE - HIGHLY PRIZED COLLECTORS' ITEM
You are presented here with an exceptional antique Prayer Bead Strand made of 33 beads + Main bead of perfect FATURAN of early XXth century, of extreme rarity and uniqueness.
This strand has been in my private collection for more than 40 years.
Pictures will describe better than anything else this beautiful item.
I estimate it dates back to the beginning of the XXth century and carved in either Istanbul or Edirne as it is of typical Ottoman/Turkish style of bead which slightly rounded edge barrels called " Kesme " .
Pictures clearly show the typical old Faturan wear by the strand cord.
Beads are of a rather big but ideal and comfortable size : 11 mm dia. and 12.5 mm height. It has a pleasant weight of 62 grams with a length of 36 cm. including the sterling tassel.
The color of this strand is of red orange of exceptional glow and very close to dark kahraman amber. The beads are also quite uniformely carved which is very rare for Faturan of this age.
The tassel is Sterling Silver, entirely hand made. Just that length of the silver chain ( this link is called the Albanian link ) which is on the tassel would request an experienced silversmith more than a full day of work to produce today.
Everything in this strand makes it special : quality and very attractive color of material, perfect size, balance and very pleasant feeling when used, age and rarity. It is an exceptional and unique collector's item of museum quality.
This is a very rare and exceptional item that you will greatly enjoy or that would make a fantatstic addition to any collection as it is unique . A royal gift.
It is also a magnificient and rare collector's item as well as a beautiful strand to handle; it will give its owner renewed pleasure each time he will handle it and listen to the beautiful sound of its beads clicking one on the other . Typical of Faturan is that the more the beads are handled the more beautiful and shiny they appear to be.
Close up pictures are there to testify of the beauty and attraction of this very exceptional item.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FATURAN
The "legend" of AMBER-FATURAN defines it as follows : " a mixture of natural amber, resins and incense.The technique of sticking together the shavings of amber together with a mixture of secret natural resins and incense to turn it into a solid material is unknown until today, This method was invented by an Arab named Faturan, in the XIXth century and the material carried his name ever since".
However the true story is that the material named Faturan is a derivative of BAKELITE which was developed in 1907-1909 by the Belgian chemist Dr. Leo Baekeland.
Bakelite is basically a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde synthetic resin
The bead carvers, mainly in Turkey, were swift to understand that Bakelite was a material that could be well carved, had a great appearance and could imitate and replace amber. They started making their own material mixing it with dyes, natural, vegetal or synthetic, amber powder, various fillers and additives, etc.. Each master also had his secret "recipe", even heating in various liquids and oils and making it undergo various physical or chemical processes to obtain the most beautiful aspect.
The original Faturan beads were mainly red or yellow in all its shades.
The last Faturan beads were made in 1940 mainly due to the 2nd World War when the supply of raw material became very scarce.
Today, there is a very big confusion in the use of the word Faturan and about its meaning to the extent that practically any type of phenolic resin is called Faturan, even those produced nowadays.
The original pre 1940 Faturan is extremely rare and intact prayer bead strands made from one single type of material are considered museum items.