On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
The earliest type of glass found in China are eye beads, such as this pair. This distinctive raised-eye motif is well known from ancient Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, and Central Asia, where it often served as protection against the “evil eye.” Although there is no evidence that eye beads had that meaning in China, the motif and shape of the foreign beads were likely the inspiration for these. They are decorated with layers of colored glass over an earthenware core and use cobalt, imported from Afghanistan across the Silk Roads, to create the blue color. The motif and material reveal ancient China’s extensive global trade networks. Glass beads are found in elite tombs in China from the Warring States period, but this trend declined by the beginning of the Western Han dynasty in 206 B.C.E.
Earthenware with polychrome decoration
5th-4th century B.C.E.
Warring States Period
Gift of Giselle Croes
Bead, 5th-4th century B.C.E. Earthenware with polychrome decoration, 1 1/4 x 1 1/4in. (3.2 x 3.2cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Giselle Croes, 1996.70.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 1996.70.1_1996.70.2_PS2.jpg)
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.