Beads 25 (2013)
Early Chinese Faience and Glass Beads and Pendants, by Simon Kwan; translated by Jeffrey A. Keller
The earliest Chinese beads and pendants were composed of faience and appeared during the early Western Zhou period, around the 11th Century B.C. True glass began to be made about the time of the Spring and Autumn period (771-467 B.C.). An amazing variety of beautiful “dragonfly-eye beads” appeared in China during the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.), but these were imported and not local products. The complex eye beads were replaced during the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) by small, plain glass beads generally intended to be strung together. Small glass stringing beads as well as other forms continued in use in subsequent dynasties, as did various types of pendants. During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), glass was used to produce beautiful imitation jade objects including fanciful compound pendants.
Chinese Bead Curtains, Past and Present, by Valerie Hector
Relatively little is known about how beads were combined to form larger structures in China. To address this situation, this paper focuses on Chinese bead curtains. It collates evidence from the textual, material, oral, and pictorial records to consider bead curtains from various perspectives. To begin, this study defines bead curtains as textiles, door and window ornaments, screens, and types of beadwork. It then discusses bead curtains of the imperial era (221 B.C.-A.D. 1911) as they are referenced in the Chinese textual record from the 4th century on. A discussion of bead curtains of the post-imperial era (1912-present) follows, offering a small database of 20th- and 21st-centuries examples composed of organic and inorganic bead materials.