Skip Navigation

Hollow Cylindrical Amulet

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor

Among the rarest of Middle Kingdom amulets are hollow gold cylinders, usually decorated with tiny gold balls arranged in a geometric pattern. Goldsmiths attached these balls to the cylinders by granulation, a soldering technique developed in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) about 2500 B.C. Some amulets of this type contained tiny pieces of papyrus inscribed with magical spells.

MEDIUM Gold, copper (?)
  • Place Excavated: Lisht, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/16 x Diam. of cap 1/4 in. (5.3 x 0.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

    Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    CAPTION Hollow Cylindrical Amulet, ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E. Gold, copper (?), 2 1/16 x Diam. of cap 1/4 in. (5.3 x 0.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 59.199.1. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.59.199.1_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 11/26/2007
    "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 Amuletic cylinder in gold. Decorated with vertical registers of granulation; at each end slightly flaring cap, the upper one furnished with suspension loop. Small holes toward top of cylinder reveal corrosion and suggest presence of copper (?) inner case. Condition: Upper cap slightly dented. Several minute holes in upper cylinder where granulation has been lost
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.