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Single-Strand Necklace

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Much ancient Egyptian jewelry was essentially decorative, like the pair of gold earrings shown here, which are simply thick hoops. But other items of adornment sometimes acted like amulets to protect the wearer, such as the necklaces mounted together here. These necklaces include ancestor bust figures for communicating with the dead; cornflowers, which were associated with renewal; a frog, symbolizing rebirth; and the pregnant hippopotamus, protector of pregnant women and thus a guardian of rebirth.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Possible Place Collected: Thebes (Malkata), Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1332-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 9/16 x 1/4 x 6 3/4 in. (1.4 x 0.6 x 17.1 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 48.66.43
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Lawrence Coolidge and Mrs. Robert Woods Bliss, and the Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Single-strand faience necklace. In center, purple glazed frog with Ma'at feather incised on base. On each side, separated by group of eleven small yellow, blue and red disk beads, five glazed amulets (uraeus, disk, cartouche, etc.). Longer section of disk beads at each end. Obviously an assembled piece. Condition: Cartouche amulet broken. Inscription seems to read m rn.f.
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