This pair of glass beads was made during an early period of highly inventive glass bead making in China from the fifth to third centuries b.c. The raised-eye motifs show the influence of beads that had been made in Egypt, India, and western Asia since the third millennium b.c. as protection against the “evil eye.” These beads have an earthenware core, to which drops of glass paste were applied to create the multilayered eyes. No evidence shows that Chinese eye beads were believed to have protective qualities; most likely they were made for personal adornment.
Earthenware with polychrome decoration
5th-4th century B.C.E.
Warring States Period
This item is not on view
Gift of Giselle Croes
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Bead, 5th-4th century B.C.E. Earthenware with polychrome decoration, 1 x 1in. (2.5 x 2.5cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Giselle Croes, 1996.70.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.1996.70.2_detail_bw.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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