Red Faturan Greek Worry Beads
Not too long ago I was blogging about some yellow Indian trading beads that I picked up years back. Well, at the risk of sounding like déjà vu all over again, here are some more beads I picked up just recently. Greek worry beads.
Ran across them on a website out there. A website over in Greece. And of course I had to order them, and they arrived here from Greece much more quickly than I'd been expecting. I think the mailman is puzzled at all these packages I keep receiving from overseas.
Anyhow. Greek worry beads, Greek men have a custom of fiddling with them and clacking them around. And these beads are made of clear red faturan.
Faturan is a sort of synthetic amber. Cheaper than amber, and much more durable. Faturan was invented by an Egyptian chemist, and then the formula was lost during World War II. Never been successfully duplicated since. The seller tells me that these faturan beads date back to the period from around 1920 to 1940.
Thirty-three beads going around the loop, divided into three groups of eleven by two smaller spacer beads. The larger bead at the end is called the "priest," and then there are two more small beads at the very end. The beads are overall in very good condition, you can tell they've seen use, and in a couple of them you can see little stress fractures inside the bead, the kind of fracture that results from clacking beads together too hard. There's a warmth to the beads, and they're bright, pellucid, with an odd fragrance. Frankincense bakelite, that's what comes to mind.
Just so happens the number and arrangement of the beads is the same as in a string of Greek Orthodox prayer beads. (Actually there's a historical connection, too; 33 beads, one of several possible numbers of beads or knots.) All that's missing is a tassel on the end ("to wipe the tears away with"). Well, I've got a red silk tassel on order from elsewhere online, and when it arrives I may be so foolhardy as to attempt to attach it.
And yes, of course, these red faturan beads have found a place on my nightstand, right alongside those yellow Indian trading beads. One good set of beads deserves another.