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Cowrie-Shaped Amulet in Gold Ring

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Because the cowrie shell resembles female genitalia, the Egyptians believed it could magically ensure procreative powers. Wealthy Egyptians frequently wore cowroids mounted in gold rings. The design on the bottom of this cowroid is carved in a style frequently found on Hyksos scarabs.

MEDIUM Steatite, glaze, gold
  • Place Collected: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1630-1539 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 13 to Dynasty 17
    PERIOD Second Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 9/16 x Diam. 15/16 in. (1.5 x 2.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 08.480.199
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Cowrie-Shaped Amulet in Gold Ring, ca. 1630-1539 B.C.E. Steatite, glaze, gold, 9/16 x Diam. 15/16 in. (1.5 x 2.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 08.480.199. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.08.480.199_view1_erg2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.08.480.199_view1_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 11/13/2008
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Steatite cowroid seal, glazed green and mounted on gold ring with swivel. Base of seal inscribed with conventionalized floral design. Ends of ring twisted back on shank. Condition: Good. Glaze worn.
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