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Necklace Spacer

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Throughout Egyptian history, Kush was fabled for its gold and other resources. Despite the small size of this necklace spacer, it demonstrates well the master craftsmanship of Kushite artisans. Each side has seven holes, through which as many strands of a necklace were threaded to prevent them from tangling. The owner may have been the Kushite king Aramatelqo or one of his courtiers. Aramatelqo was one of the Kushite kings who never ruled Egypt and yet adopted much of Egyptian culture. The inscription is in hieroglyphs; Aramatelqo's names are in cartouches, and the grammar and the phraseology are completely Egyptian. On one side, the inscription reads, "Son of Re, the lord of diadems, Aramatelqo, living forever, beloved of Hathor, lady of Heliopolis, mistress of the gods, given/giver of life." The text on the other side reads, "The king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Wadjkare, living forever, beloved of Re-Horakhty, the great god, the lord of heaven, given/giver of life forever. "

MEDIUM Sheet gold
  • Place Excavated: Meroe, Sudan (ancient Nubia)
  • DATES ca. 568–555 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Napatan Period
    DIMENSIONS 1 13/16 x 1 1/8 x 3/8 in. (4.6 x 2.8 x 0.9 cm) Weight: 0.07 oz.  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Chamber under royal palace building no. 294, Meroë, Nubia (now Sudan); by 1911, excavated by John Garstang of Liverpool, England; ca. 1914, acquired from John Garstang by William MacGregor of Liverpool; July 5, 1922, purchased at Sotheby's London, "The MacGregor Collection of Egyptian Antiquities", lot 1502, by M. Permain; between 1922 and 1940, provenance not yet documented; before 1940, acquired by William Randolph Hearst; October 30, 1940, purchased from William Randolph Hearst at International Studio Art Corp, by Joseph Brummer of New York, NY; February 26, 1948, purchased from the estate of Joseph Brummer by Alastair Bradley Martin; 1949, purchased from Alastair Bradley Martin by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Sheet gold space bead, shape of a truncated pyramid. Long sides inscribed with incised nomen, prenomen and epithets of King Aramatelqo. Short sides undecorated and pierced with seven circular openings for insertion of necklace strands. Interior hollow. Condition: Intact.
    CAPTION Nubian. Necklace Spacer, ca. 568–555 B.C.E. Sheet gold, 1 13/16 x 1 1/8 x 3/8 in. (4.6 x 2.8 x 0.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 49.29. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 49.29_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 49.29_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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