19th century Chinese-Tibetan mala - Buddhist rosary consisting of 108 mother-of-pearl prayer beads and 4 larger horn ones that serve as spacers dividing the prayer beads into groups of 27 each. Traditionally Buddhist rosary of 108 even-sized beads is used for mantra recitation. The thread represents the continuity of the boddhadharma piercing the 108 worldly passions. The mantras are recited to accomplish the four karmas or enlightened activities of pacifying, enriching, magnetizing, and destroying. On completion of a full cycle of 108 mantras recitations, the mala is turned around and the next mantra cycle is counted in reversed order along the beads. The mala appears to be restrung recently, but the beads themselves are old, with wonderful warm patina from handling. Length when stretched is 18 inches, total length 36 inches, beads diameter is about 8.5 mm, horn beads diameter is 14 mm. Fits very nicely around a neck or a wrist.