Bracelets, from the cenotaph (?) of King Djer at Abydos. First Dynasty, c. 3020 BC. In the Cairo Museum. In 1901 Flinders Petrie continued his re-excavation of the ravaged archaic sites at Abydos, where the tombs or cenotaphs of the first Pharaohs had been made. He found in a crevice in the brickwork of the complex of Djer the wrapped forearm of a woman of the royal household, her bracelets held in position by the bandages, and was thus able to recover their original order of stringing. They are shown in the plate in the sequence in which they were found, the top specimen being nearest the wrist.
Bracelet (now in two halves) gold, lapis lazuli and turquoise L. (of each part) 3.7 and 2-2 cm. Cat. No. 52011. The two 1 parts when found were joined by strings of hair and gold wires of equal thickness plaited together. The front half has a central hollow gold rosette, made in imitation of a half-opened flower. It is pierced with holes through which run three threads carrying turquoise beads, alternating with gold ball beads and ring beads soldered in threes to form spacers. Both strings are caught at each extremity by a single lapis lazuli ball bead and a hollow gold ball bead.
Second row: Bracelet, gold and turquoise. L. 15.6 cm. Cat. No. 52008, This, the most celebrated of the quartet, consrsts of thirteen gold and fourteen turquoise graduated plaques in the form of the king's serekh surmounted by a falcon. The king's name, as the incarnation of the distant sky-god Horus, is usually inscribed within the serekh. Here it is rendered as Djer. The gold serekhs appear to have been formed by casting.
Third row: Bracelet, gold, amethyst and turquoise. L. 15 cm. Cat. No. 52010. This is the most original bracelet in the group; its design being based upon beads of hourglass shape, strung in four vertical groups of three, alternating with larger turquoise beads. Bottom row: Bracelet, gold, lapis lazuli and turquoise. L. 13 cm. Cat. No. 52009. This bracelet is similar in design to the one in the top row, consisting of three rows of beads caught at four points by single large ball beads.
Petrie's words, which he penned on first discovering these bracelets, are still worth quoting: 'Here, at the crystallizing point of Egyptian art, we see the unlimited variety and fertility of design.
Excepting the plain gold balls, there is not a single bead in any one bracelet which would be interchangeable with those in another bracelet. Each is of independent design, fresh and free from all convention or copying. And yet not one of these would be in place among the jewellery of the XlIth Dynasty.' 2 Parure, gold, from a burial of First Dynasty date. In the Cairo Museum.
In 1903G. A. Reisner excavated an archaic tomb at Nag-ed-Der in which the mass of the superstructure had collapsed, crushing the body beneath it and preserving it from the attention of robbers who had been active in other parts of the necropolis. The deceased had originally worn a plain gold circlet around the brow and bracelets in flint, slate and copper, in addition to plain gold rings which may be among the earliest finger-rings known. Ten package-shaped gold amulets, beads in garnet and carnelian and black-and-white stone pendants, were also retrieved.
Centre: Two pendants, gold. L. 4 cm. and 3.8 cm. Cat. Nos. 53824-5. The animal on the right is a steer (Apis bull?), the horns of which are missing. From its neck hangs a pendant in the form of the 'aegis' of the goddess Bat. The animal on the left is an oryx with a :yet (girdle-tie) around its neck.
Outer: A necklace of twenty-four gold shells. L. (of each) 1.5 cm. Cat. No. 53802. Each shell has been formed by hammering gold foil into a suitable mould and enhancing the coils by repousse. A ring has been soldered on the outside at each extremity. Originally the beads were threaded on two strings and perhaps held in position by knotting, but of this no traces remain.
Bracelets of Queen Hetep-her-es, silver, inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. Outer diam. 9 toll cm. Excavated by G. A. Reisner at Giza. IVth Dynasty. In the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Mass). Reg. Nos. 47.1699-1701. The greatly decayed secondary burial of the mother of Kheops was found in the vicinity of that king's Great Pyramid on the Giza plateau in 1925. The deposit contained, among other spectacular items, the remains of a gold encased wooden box carrying two removable tapered rollers for the storage of twenty silver bracelets worn on the forearms in the manner shown in contemporary reliefs. The bracelets follow the pattern of such ornaments of the Archaic Period, being formed as hollow shells of thin metal but with depressions worked in them for the reception of the stone inlays cemented in position.
Parure of a woman of the royal house, excavated at Giza in the Re-wer tomb complex (shaft No. 294) by Selim Hassan in 1931. IVth Dynasty. In the Cairo Museum.
A circlet, gold, copper and carnelian. L. 56 cm. D. (of central rosette) 7.8 cm. The simple gold fillet found on a burial of the Archaic Period and referred to above, has here assumed the sophisticated form common in the Old Kingdom.
A collar, gold. L. (of each bead) 2.7 cm. D. c. 16 cm. In addition to the circlet, the body of the woman found at Giza was adorned with bracelets of gold and copper at the wrists and ankles and a necklace of gold and faience beads strung on gold wire with gold clasps at the ends.
Its unique adornment, however, was the collar illustrated here which consists of fifty hollow gold beads in the form of the beetle Agrypnus notodonta Latr., which was sacred to Neith, a goddess of great influence in the earlier dynasties. The collar was thus not only an adornment but also an amulet placing the wearer under the protection of the chief goddess of the age.
The Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, working at Lisht in 1907 in the vicinity of the ruined pyramid of King Ammenemes I (c. 1991-1962 BC), found the tomb of Seneb-tisi, a woman of the family of the Vizier Sen-wosret, which had been partly rifled and was in a greatly decayed state. The excavators, Mace and Winlock, were able to recover almost completely the original form and features of the deposit, and their reconstructions of some of the funerary jewelry, now in the Metropolitan Museum, are illustrated in the following four plates. The personal jewels of Seneb-tisi had been stolen in antiquity and only traces of her wig in its crushed container were found. The jewelry illustrated here was found mostly embedded between layers of linen wrappings soaked in resin that covered the body and allowed the original order of stringing to be determined.
Wig ornaments of the House Mistress Seneb-tisi, gold, early XIIth Dynasty. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Reg. No. 07.227.6-7. The rosettes, of marguerite form, each 1.1 cm. in diameter, were made by beating heavy gold sheet into two moulds, one with sixteen radiating divisions, the other with twelve. Eighty-five rosettes of the latter type had been pierced with two holes to take threads binding them to the tresses of the wig: the remainder have a bar of gold soldered across the back for the same purpose. These rosettes are shown on a reconstruction of the wig. The circlet is of gold wire in three zones, each coiled into a series of continuous loops to form a kind of expansible chain.
Collar, turquoise, carnelian, green faience, and gold foil filled with plaster. W. 25-5 cm., early XIIth Dynasty. Tomb of Seneb-tisi. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Reg. No. 08.200.30. One of the three funerary collars of Seneb-tisi of a type known as 'The Falcon', from the design of its terminals, each made in the shape of the head of the bird with an eye of carnelian and markings inlaid in blue pigment.
Collar, turquoise, green faience and gold foil filled with plaster. W. 25 cm., early XIIth Dynasty. Tomb of Seneb-tisi. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Reg. No: 08.200.31. A similar neck ornament to the one above, but with semicircular end-pieces, known as a 'Broad Collar', is made of tubular beads graduated in size so that the longest are in the middle of each row. The vertical tubular beads are separated and bordered by strings of small beads. Both collars have the characteristic shape of such adjuncts during the Allth Dynasty, being U-shaped rather than quasi-circular, with the shoulder-pieces lying further apart, and rather shallower than earlier examples. Such funerary collars were merely laid on the breast of the deceased.
Apron, green, white, yellow, and black faience beads with some gold foil. W. 58.5 cm., early XIIth Dynasty. Tomb of Seneb-tisi. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Reg. No. 08.200.29. This is the most complete example to have survived of a besau or protective bead apron, otherwise known from the coffin pictures and representations on the monuments. Originally it was a primitive garment worn only by the Pharaoh as part of his insignia, but by the Middle Kingdom it had been appropriated for funerary use by commoners. The apron consists of a bead-work belt with a buckle of wood covered with gold foil bearing the owner's name in blue pigment. At the rear hangs an imitation animal's tail in bead-work over a wooden core. From the lower edge of the belt also depend twenty-two strings of bead-work representing the heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt, the flowering rush on the right and the papyrus on the left.
Jewels from the Dahshur and Lahun Treasures. XIIth Dynasty, now in Cairo and New York. In 1895 the French Egyptologist J. de Morgan uncovered jewelry belonging to the princesses of the family of Sesostris III (c. 1878-1843 sc) in their tombs within the precincts of that king's pyramid, the northern brick pyramid, at Dahshur. Some months later he found another treasure belonging to an earlier generation of royal women in tombs in the enclosure of the ruined stone pyramid of Ammenemes II (c. 1929-1895 sc) at the same site. In 1914 C. Brunton, working for Flinders Petrie, excavated a similar treasure which had been buried with the Princess Sit-Hathor-Yunet in a tomb within the precincts of the brick pyramid of her father Sesostris 11 (1897-1878 sc) at Lahun. Nearly all these parures had been used by the princesses during their lifetimes and show signs of wear. They were buried with their owners in wooden caskets which, however, had decayed almost entirely by the time of their discovery. These jewels are substantial pieces, made of precious and hard-wearing materials and should be compared with those of Seneb-tisi made solely for funerary use.
Funerary parure of the Princess Ita-weret who was buried at Dahshur near the pyramid of her father (?) Ammenemes II. Gold, carnelian, turquoise, green faience and lapis lazuli. W. (of collafic. 28 cm. In the Cairo Museum (no reg. no)
The Broad Collar of Ita-weret was unusual in being furnished with a menkhet counterpoise and appears to have been one worn in life and adapted for funerary use. The semicircular end' pieces are perforated to take the tie-strings that connect it to the counterpoise. A bracelet shown in the illustration appears to have been composed out of one of the 'various' examples found by de Morgan on Ita-werees ankles or wrists, but the beads have been improperly matched so that the band assumes a curved shape. It was presumably clasped with tie-strings.
Jewelry from the parure of the Princess Khnumet who probably became a queen in later life and was buried in the vicinity of the pyramid of Ammenemes II at Dahshur. Her jewels represent the products of the royal workshops during the earlier part of the XIIth Dynasty.
Collar gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian. garnets, green felspar: size of terminals. H. 3.8 cm., W. 4.3 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52861-2 et al. A 'Falcon Collar reconstructed from elements recovered. It comprises seven rows of pendant beads connected by strings of gold ring-beads. Four of the rows consist of three different graduated hieroglyphs symbolizing 'Life', 'Stability' and 'Power' made of gold inlaid with coloured stones.
Below, part of a string of drop beads and gold ring-beads from the same hoard, arbitrarily assembled.
Top Row: Parts of a pair of bracelets, gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli and carnelian. H. 3.9 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52044-5, 52048-9. At each extremity is a clasp consisting of a completely detachable member made of gold sliding on tongues within channels formed in two end-pieces. Each of the latter is perforated with sixteen holes to take rows of carnelian, turquoise, lapis lazuli and gold cylindrical beads strung on linen threads. When the bracelet was put on the wearer, the handmaid wrapped it around the wrist of her mistress with the two grooved end-pieces opposite each other and connected them by slipping the tongued slide in between them. The design of the slide is based upon a protective sa-amulet inlaid in lapis lazuli, the ties being of turquoise and carnelian.
Middle Row: An anklet, gold inlaid with turquoise, carnelian, lapis lazuli, H. of claw pendants 2.25 cm. Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52911-12 et at This jewel, as restrung, shows a pair of imitation bird claws, having a right and left profile, strung on a thread of gold beads with a gold clasp in the form of a knot, one half of which fastens to the other by means of a T-shaped tongue sliding in a groove.
Bottom Row: Necklace of carnelian, turquoise and lapis lazuli ankh-signs, with a gold ankh-'clasp'. H. of clasp 1.9 cm. Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 53012-3, 52916. This necklace, exhibited upside down and curving in the opposite direction to which it should take, is also reconstructed and is incomplete. The 'clasp' is made of gold with two bars, each perforated with three hole's, sliding on tongues forming the sides of a trapezoid framing the ankh. Each stone ankh is made in two parts, the upper loop and cross-bar, and the lower tongue. In its original form, the ankhs were kept in position by matching ring-beads packed on the threads that passed through the upper and lower perforated lugs on each complete sign. A medial thread passed up a hole drilled the length of each tongue into a transverse hole in the cross-bar of the upper half of the ankh. It is probable that the so-called clasp is really a pendant or pectoral, and the necklace was a continuous string of beads passed round the neck of the wearer and clasped on the breast by the pendant.
Circlet, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. D.20-5 cm., Max. H. 4.2 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52860. This crown is a translation into cloisonné-work of the type of fillet represented on the statue of Nofret. The circlet is composed of eight identical elements, each consisting of a central rosette flanked by two stylized flowering rush calices and surmounted by such a device. Each of these components is separated from the next by another rosette. Between the centre of two of the elements is soldered an arch in the form of a flying vulture with its talons holding shen-signs, suggesting that the owner had reached the status of a queen. Opposite is a socket to take a gold foil ornament, now much damaged, in the shape of a palm tree.
Circlet, gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise, D. 18 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52859. This is a gold cloisonné version of a circlet made by twisting a handful of water-weed into a chaplet. The wreath is caught at six points by a Maltese cross formed of four papyrus umbels around a central boss. Each of these anchorages is connected to the next by ten wires, interlaced in pairs through minute gold rings to which are soldered flowerettes, each with five turquoise-filled petals radiating from a carnelian centre, or pairs of lapis lazuli buds on gold wires. From the moment of its discovery, this chaplet has been admired as one of the triumphs of the Egyptian goldsmith, a happy combination of fragility and strength, of formalized flower shapes scattered in the random profusion of nature.
Pendant, necklaces, clasp and wig (?) ornaments, gold decorated with applied wires and grains. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52975-9. Khnumet had among her possessions a suite of gold jewelry which has a distinctly un-Egyptian appearance in its designs and techniques. The art of attaching gold wires and granules to ornaments of gold by means of colloidal gold soldering appears to have been developed elsewhere, probably in Syria or the Aegean. This group of granular goldwork may have been presented to Khnumet by an Asiatic ruler, or may have been made by Egyptian jewellers under the inspiration of foreign models.
Top: The pendant consists of a central element, the so-called 'Medallion of Dahshur' (D. 2-85 cm.), a circular plaque of blue kit on which is painted a recumbent cow with a garland hanging from its neck. This miniature is covered by a thin plate of rock crystal retained by a circular gold frame. From the lower edge depend three open-work, eight-pointed, stars. The medallion in turn hangs from two larger open-work rosettes, each with eight semicircular projections. The rayed medallion or star-shaped pendant is a distinctly Syrian motif.
Second Row: A necklace consisting of a length of double loop-in-loop chain, 28 cm. long, from which hang twelve gold pendants in the shape of stylized flies or bees. Similar ornaments have been found at Palaikastro, Crete, and on other Middle Minoan sites.
Third Row: The clasp is in the form of a butterfly (W. 2.7 cm.) made from thin sheet gold on which the details of the insect's body and wing-membranes have been outlined in gold wire and soldered in position with granules filling the spaces. To the back is soldered a channel to take the fastening bar. To each part is connected a length of double loop-in-loop chain. While the butterfly is a Minoan motif, it had also existed in Egypt as a design of a jewel at least as early as the IVth Dynasty.
Bottom Row: The necklace consists of a portion of double loop-in-loop chain from which are suspended ten bivalve cockle-shells and two star-shaped pendants (W. of latter, 2.5 cm.) by means of short links. The five-pointed star is an Egyptian celestial motif, but here it may represent a starfish.
Sides: Ornaments in the form of small birds, each 1.1 cm. high, made by working gold foil into an appropriate mould and soldering a flat plate to the back, the edges being trimmed. Two holes in the lower part allowed for the passage of air during heating and cooling and were the means of attaching them, doubtless to a wig.
Collar, gold, inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. H. (of terminals) 1.3 cm., W. 11 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52920-21 et al. This Falcon Collar has been reconstructed from elements nearly all of which have a right and left aspect, thus indicating that they formed pairs in some balanced arrangement. They also have a generic resemblance, being made of gold, chased on their backs, and inlaid with coloured stones on their faces. The central element (H. 1.6 cm.) is an ankh upon an offering-mat and this is flanked in turn by hieroglyphs symbolizing deities, such as the vulture of Upper Egypt and the cobra of Lower Egypt on neb-baskets, the goddess Bat, the King of Lower Egypt, and such abstractions as 'Life', 'Union', 'Strength', 'Stability', 'Protection'.
Upper Row: Four 'motto-clasps', gold inlaid with carnelian, turquoise and lapis lazuli, H. (left to right) 1.7 cm., 1.9 cm., 3-3 cm., 20 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52914, 52955-6, 52958. It was the fashion for the princesses of the XlIth Dynasty to wear an amuletic cloisonné jewel attached to a cord on the upper arm. Here the cords have been restored by strings of gold beads. Each jewel is composed of a single sign or group of hieroglyphs spelling Out a good wish. The cords were knotted into tubes on the back of each jewel, one sliding on a tongue within grooves. The first two clasps read, 'all protection and life is at her back'. The next perhaps signifies a protective meset-apron; the last reads, 'joy'.
Lower Row: Girdle (?), gold carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. L. (doubled) 30 cm. In the Cairo Museum, no Cat. No. Part of what was probably a girdle of 'acacia seed' beads placed around the body of Khnumet.
Painted limestone relief of Sit-hedj-hotpe and Sit-kheper-ka, two of the daughters of Djehuti-hotpe, the powerful feudal lord of the 'Hare' district of Middle Egypt who died in the reign of Sesostris III, c. 1850 sc. In the Cairo Museum. H. 27.5 cm. This fragment of wall gives a good idea of the full parure of women of high rank in the middle years of the XlIth Dynasty. Each daughter wears her hair plumped out in a bouffant mass kept in place by gold bands, a lower carnelian terminal and a circlet probably of bead-work, but possibly of cloisonné-work. From the neck hangs a trapezoidal pectoral on bead-work straps to fall low on the breast. The girls' arms and legs are decorated with bracelets and anklets also in bead-work.
Jewelry of the Princess Sit-Hathor, excavated by J. de Morgan near the brick pyramid of Sesostris III at Dahshur.
Centre: Pectoral of cloisonné-work and necklace, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. H. (of pectoral) 5.2 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52001 et at The Princess Sit-
Hathor was a daughter of Sesostris II who gave her some of her jewelry early in her adult life: other ornaments were bestowed upon her by her brother or husband, Sesostris III. This pectoral belongs to her earlier years and its design is based upon the titles and names of Sesostris II contained within the primeval shrine or kiosk in which the Creator (the ancestor of the Pharaoh) manifested himself.
The design shows the sky-god Horus as a falcon wearing the Upper and Lower Egyptian crowns, standing upon a collar symbolizing his victory over Set, the god of violence, and supporting two of the names of the King. The sun-disk, encircled by a uraeus which embraces an ankh-sign of life further supplements Horus, fills an empty space and strengthens the design. The workmanship of this jewel is impeccable.
Outer: Girdle of Sit-Hathor, gold, lapis lazuli, green felspar. L. c. 70 cm. In the Cairo Museum. Cat. No. 53136, 5.3123 et al. The girdle has been restored as a result of the study of the El-Lahun specimen. Some of its parts, however, were stolen at the time of discovery by de Morgan's workmen, and it is thus shorter than it should be.
Jewelry of the Princess Sit-Hathor-Yunet excavated by G. Brunton and Flinders Petrie in a tomb within the precincts of the pyramid complex of Sesostris II at Lahun, and now mostly in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Wig ornaments, gold, and gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and green faience. Originals in the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52641, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 31.10.8. The ornaments, here seen mounted on a modern version of a wig of the period, are a reproduction of the 'boatman's circlet' worn by Sit-Hathor-Yunet, now in Cairo, and the original gold tubes that were threaded on her tresses in a chequer-pattern.
Jewelry of Sit-Hathor, gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli, green felspar, turquoise. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 53137, 52041-2, 53141, 53150, 53142.
Top: Bracelet, L. 20 cm. Three of the XlIth Dynasty princesses had bracelets containing a pair of couchant lions, some threaded on double strings, and some on single strings of beads. One of Sit-Hathor's examples shown here is reconstructed after the Lahun specimens.
Left and Right: Bracelet clasps, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. H. 3.9 cm. Each slide is decorated with a djed-pillar worked a jour, chased on its back and inlaid on its face, and connected to a perforated end-piece by a tongue at each long side.
Centre, top and bottom: Clasp, gold inlaid with carnelian, other inlays now missing. L. 3-7 cm. The centre of the clasp is formed by a knot in gold consisting of two halves which slide together on a tongue and groove. 'Motto clasp', gold inlaid with carnelian and lapis lazuli. H. 1-8 cm., consisting of a rebus of hieroglyphs reading, 'the two gods [Horus and Set) are at peace'. Clasps designed to express the same idea are found in other royal deposits of the period. Clasp, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. H. 2.7 cm. Two lotus flowers in cloisonné-work with their stalks tied in a knot above the 'aegis' of the goddess Bat form the main design. Anchorages for chords are on the reverse, one of them being detachable. The clasp has been restrung on a necklace of gold ring beads.
Girdle of Sit-Hathor-Yunet, gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli, green felspar. L. 84 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 16.1.5. The girdle consists of eight hollow gold beads in the form of cowries, one of which is made in two parts and fastens together by a tongue engaging in a slot to form the clasp. These are threaded on two strings of 'acacia-seed' beads in carnelian, lapis lazuli, green felspar and gold, the last being soldered in pairs to form spacers. Each cowrie is double sided showing lips on both faces. A few rattling pellets of a silver alloy are contained in each shell so that the wearer must have tinkled as she walked like the 'daughters of Zion'.
Girdle and claw anklets of Sit-Hathor-Yunet, gold and amethyst. L. (girdle) 82 cm., L. (anklets) 17.5 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. Nos. 16.1.6, 7. In addition to her cowrie-shell girdle, Sit-Hathor-Yunet had a second girdle, probably made for her in a later reign, in which the eight gold cowrie shells were replaced by seven double-sided, hollow gold beads in the form of opposed leopard heads. These were threaded on a double ring of dark amethyst ball beads and gold spacer-beads.
The claw anklets were evidently made en suite, using the same dark purple colour of amethyst for the ball beads.
Pectoral of Sit-Hathor-Yunet, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. H. 4.5 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 16.1.3. This jewel, together with the contemporary pectoral of Sit-Hathor, probably represents the acme of the jeweller's art in Egypt. Its construction is similar to that of Sit-Hathor's example but the primeval kiosk is replaced by a base-bar with a zigzag inlay representing the Waters of Chaos from which Creation arose. Two falcons, each wearing on its vertex the sun-disk encircled by a uraeus with a pendant ankh, protect the prenomen of King Sesostris II, which is supported by a kneeling personification of Eternity holding notched palm-ribs to signify a count of years. The whole design symbolizes that the divine power that created the universe is incarnate in the Pharaoh.
Bracelet of Sit-Hathor-Yunet, gold, carnelian and turquoise. H. 8.1 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 16.1.8. The bracelet unclasped and laid flat gives a good idea of the construction and appearance of such jewels during the Middle Kingdom. Each bracelet, worn at the wrist, consists of a band of thirty-seven rows of carnelian and turquoise beads strung on threads between two gold end-pieces. The strings are held together at intervals by six gold spacer-bars. The slide, which forms a red element in the alternation of red and green vertical stripes, is inscribed with a title and name of Ammenemes III in cloisonné-work.
Pectoral, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli, green faience and amethyst. W. 8.2 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52712. Sit-Hathor-Yunet's second pectoral is a copy of the earlier one and was made for her in the reign of Ammenemes III, whose name replaces that of Sesostris II in the cartouche upheld by Eternity. During the forty years or more that separate the date of the two jewels there are signs of a decline in the standards and skill of the Court jewellers. The falcons are clumsy and earth-bound when compared with those of Sesostris II and the chasing of the back-plate is coarser and less detailed. The colour scheme is also different, ball beads of amethyst instead of lapis lazuli being used in the suspensory necklace. An artificial substance, probably frit, has been used in place of the green and blue stones, and has decayed to a white powder.
Uraeus of Sesostris II, gold, inlaid with carnelian lapis lazuli and green felspar. H. 5.5 cm. In the Cairo Museum. Cat. No. 52702. This jewel was found by G. Brunton after sifting the dust and rubble in the rifled burial-chamber of the king's pyramid at Lahun. There is little doubt that this emblem of the king's personal deity, that was supposed to spit fire in the eyes of his enemy, was actually attached to one of the crowns of Sesostris II. The body is of gold made by hammering heavy sheet and soldering on the details. The head is carved from a piece of lapis lazuli with eyes of garnet set in gold rims. The body, of hollow section, makes an S-turn before tapering to an undulating tail.
Jewelry of Queen Mereret, excavated by J. de Morgan, near the brick pyramid of Sesostris III at Dahshur, XIIth Dynasty. In the Cairo Museum.
Top: Pendant, gold inlaid with carnelian and blue and green faience. W. 3.3 cm. Cat. No. 53078. The pendant is in the form of a falcon with outspread wings holding shen-signs in its talons. Of the inlays, only the carnelian has retained its colour, the rest have decayed to a white paste; some are missing. Sides: Bracelets, gold, carnelian and turquoise. L. c. 16.5 cm. Cat. No. 53096-9.
centre (inner): Five 'motto' clasps, gold inlaid with carnelian and discoloured pastes. W. 1 to 3.3 cm. Cat. Nos. 53076, 53079-82. The 'mottos' are (top) the shen-sign signifying the entire circuit of the sun over which the Pharaoh ruled, 'joy' and 'the two gods are at peace': this last is arranged upside down on the plate.
Centre (outer): A necklace, gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. L. c. 35 cm. Cat. Nos. 53069, 53083. A necklace reconstructed from random elements found in the tomb of Queen Mereret. The pendants are formed of eight turquoise, five carnelian and five lapis lazuli balls, each held in a cage formed of two large circles of gold strip soldered to a striated tube by which the pendant is hung on a string of gold beads. The clasp is in the form of a motto with signs reading 'all protection and life'.
Pectoral of Queen Mereret, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. W. 8.5 cm. Cat. No. 52002 et al. Within the primeval shrine, which has its cornice supported by a lotus flower on a slender stalk, King Sesostris III, in the form of a pair of opposed hieracosphinxes, tramples enemies underfoot. The outstretched paws of the sphinxes are on the heads of the subjugated and support the prenomen of the king. The vulture goddess Nekhebet of Upper Egypt, holding shen-signs in her claws, spreads protective wings over the entire scene.
Pectoral of Queen Mereret, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and faience or frit. W. 10-4 cm. Cat. No. 52003 et al. This is a jewel of similar type, but made for the queen by the successor of Sesostris III. The primeval kiosk is of simple design. Over the scene hovers the vulture Nekhebet with protective wings outspread holding the signs of life and stability in her talons. Below, in opposed halves, Ammenemes III raises his mace to strike down bedouin foes helpless before him, each holding a throw-stick and a dagger. The prenomen of the king in a cartouche is before him, and at his back is a fan-bearer in the form of an animated ankh-sign. The various elements in the design are held together with descriptive hieroglyphic labels. Nekhebet is entitled 'Mistress of The Two Lands, Lady of Heaven'; the king is 'The Good God, Lord of the Two Lands'; and the action he is performing is 'subjugating all foreign lands', and 'smiting the bedouin of Asia'.
Outer: Girdle of Queen Mereret, gold. L. (of each shell) 5.7 cm. Cat. Nos. 53074, 53165. The eight cowrie shells were made in the same manner as those of similar girdles belonging to the women of the royal house. Queen Mereret had two or more imitation cowrie shell girdles in her parure, but as parts were pilfered at the time of discovery, it is impossible to say how they should be reconstructed. It may well be that the smaller gold cowries belong to an entirely separate girdle composed of beads strung on two threads.
Inner (top): Pendant, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. H. 4.6 cm. Cat. No. 53070. The pendant is made in imitation of a trimmed pearl shell and is inlaid at its top with a design based on the lotus flower from which hangs a wreath of stylized flower petals, ending in a pendant of three chevrons, all in cloisonné-work. Technically this is the supreme masterpiece from this period.
Inner (middle): Part of a collar, gold. L. c. 10 cm. Cat. No. 53171. The collar consists of a number of reticulated gold elements. To the lower edge of the middle of some of them is soldered a gold bivalve shell, 0.8 cm. high.
Inner (bottom): Gold shell. W. 7.6 cm. Cat. No. 53255. A pendant in the form of a bivalve shell beaten out of a disk of massive gold with a suspension ring soldered to the hollow back, at the apex. The originals of such ornaments made of pearl shells trimmed to shape and inscribed with the king's name were common during the Middle Kingdom.
Above: Three finger-rings, gold, carnelian, turquoise, amethyst. L. 1-1, TO, 1.8 cm. Cat. Nos. 52260, 52240, 52244. The bezel of each ring is in the form of a scarab, one in amethyst, another in cloisonné-work on a plain gold base-plate, and a third in lapis lazuli mounted on a gold base-plate inscribed with the name and titles of Ammenemes III. Each scarab swivels on a gold wire ring, the ends of which are coiled about each other, a metal version of a simple linen thread tie.
Below: Two hollow gold heads of the goddess Bat, from the inlays in one of Mereret's decayed jewel-caskets. W. 2.5 cm. Cat. Nos. 53094-5.
Outer: Two cylindrical pendants, gold, lapis lazuli and turquoise. L. 4.9 cm. and 5-3 cm. Cat. Nos. 53071-2. These curious pendants consist essentially of gold cylindrical boxes fitted with caps furnished with suspension rings. Their exact purpose is unknown.
inner: A pair of bracelet slides, gold inlaid with carnelian, and turquoise. H. 6.4 cm. Cat. Nos. 42026-7. Queen Mereret received from Ammenemes III two bracelets, similar to those of Sit-Hathor-Yunet, with slides inlaid with his name.
Strings of beads from private burials of the Middle Kingdom excavated at Rifa and Haraga. In the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, Reg. Nos. 1907.713.7; 1914.1088-91, 1095. The beads are of two kinds - ball and barrels, some of the latter are ribbed. The materials of which they are made are (a) natural stones, such as carnelian, amethyst, lapis lazuli, green felspar and turquoise; and (b) artificial substances such as green faience and gilded plaster. The uppermost necklace has natural shell terminals.
Parure of an unknown woman, gold and electrum. Late XVIIth Dynasty. In the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh. Reg. Nos. 1909.527.15-19. In 1909 Flinders Petrie, excavating at Qurna, near the mouth of the Valley of the Kings at Western Thebes, found the intact burial of an unknown woman and infant in a shallow grave cut in the rock. The richness of her parure is unusual for such an impoverished age and suggests that the woman and her child were important members of the ruling house at Thebes towards the end of the XVIIth Dynasty.
A girdle of electrum beads, L. 79 cm., consisting of twenty-six cowroid shapes alternating with twelve barrel beads threaded on a double string.
Top row: A pair of earrings, each 2-3 cm. in diameter, consisting of four penannular hoops soldered together, the two inner hoops having a smaller gap and so forming a tongue for penetrating the hole in the earlobe. These are the earliest examples of earrings in Egypt, the wearing of such ornaments evidently being an Asiatic fashion imported into Egypt in 1-lyksos times.
At sides: Four plain gold bangles worn as bracelets on both forearms; each 6 cm. in diameter and made up of gold bar of D-section bent into a circle and soldered.
Centre: A collar with an outer circumference of 38 cm., consisting of four rows of gold rings threaded on a thick pad of fibre, the centre strings of which are knotted into the terminals. When the two terminals are brought in juxtaposition a locking pin can be inserted between them. Each ring was made from wire of triangular section. This jewel appears to be an early form of the shebyu-collar so often given as an award of honour by the Pharaohs to their subjects in the ensuing dynasty.
Jewels from the parure of Queen Ah-hotpe deposited with her mummy in a huge coffin excavated near the mouth of the Valley of the Kings at Western Thebes. Ah-hotpe was the mother of Ka-mose and Amosis, the Theban princes who in succession fought a war of liberation against their Hyksos overlords ruling in Lower Egypt. Their eventual triumph ushered in a new period of prosperity and high culture for the Egyptians. The burial regalia of Ah-hotpe comprised jewels given to her by Ka-mose and by Amosis, late in whose reign she evidently died. The workmanship of these jewels is generally much cruder than that of the Middle Kingdom craftsmen but details of style and an improvement in the quality of some of the jewels given to Ah-hotpe by Amosis suggests that he fell heir to the experience and traditions of the Memphite studios when he conquered Lower Egypt.
Armlet, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and green felspar. W. 11cm., H. 81 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52642. The design is a development of the lion bracelets of the Middle Kingdom worn on the upper arm. King Ka-mose had an armlet consisting of a box-like cartouche bearing his name and two lions (now in the Louvre) that evidently had been strung on a thick double cord. Here the combination has been translated into an inflexible gold armlet, half the gold circlet being worked into the semblance of a double twisted cord. The other half is planished flat and decorated by alternate died and tyet symbols in cloisonné-work. From the centre of the circlet, opposite the cartouche, a tongue projects decorated in inlays with a feather-pattern. In use, it lay along the inner side of the arm to prevent the heavy cartouche and sphinxes from twisting the armlet round on the wearer. The internal diameter of the armlet (8.1 cm.) is greater than that of the other armlets of Queen Ah-hotpe, and suggests therefore that it was worn by Amosis himself, perhaps in his earlier years.
Pectoral, gold, inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. W. 9.2 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52004. This pectoral is made by the same technique as the Middle Kingdom examples, but is far less accomplished, though the chasing of the reverse is a little more skilful than the lapidary work on the face. The kiosk has a base decorated with vertical zigzags symbolizing the Waters of Heaven on which a solar bark floats protected by falcons flying above left and right. Within this craft King Amosis (centre) is being lustrated by the falcon-headed Re of Lower Egypt and Amun of Upper Egypt who pour streams of water over him from the libation vases raised on high. The design is tied together by inscriptions which give the names and titles of Amosis. This jewel was probably made for the coronation of Amosis, one of the ceremonies of which was the purification of the king by priests. Here the rite is regarded as taking place in Heaven.
Left and centre: A pair of bracelets or anklets, gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. I. (unclasped) 15-0 cm. H. 4.3 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52071-2. This jewel is constructed on entirely different principles from its Middle Kingdom counter-parts. Firstly, the beads are strung on thirty gold wires, not threads, and have therefore retained their original order. The band, however, is only partly flexible. Secondly, the end-pieces, made in the form of lidless boxes, are fitted with perforated lugs that engage with each other and are locked by a retractable pin. Thirdly, the spacers are formed of five gold strips with their long edges turned up and perforated to ride on the wires. The cylindrical beads are threaded in square groups each bisected diagonally to form triangles, one of which is of gold. The diagonal motif is very common at this period and appears on other jewels of Queen Ah-hotpe. The end-pieces, when joined with their pins, show the names and titles of Amosis, 'beloved of Amun' and 'of Re', chased on the outer surface.
Right: Bracelet, gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise. L. (laid flat) 16.5 cm. In the Cairo Museum. Cat. No. 52070. This bracelet, or anklet, one of a pair, follows a more traditional method of manufacture except that eighteen wires are used as threads and the clasp fastens by means of a retractable pin engaging in catches on the end-pieces. The seven gold spacer bars resemble Middle Kingdom prototypes but are not backed by a flat plate, and have four instead of three ring beads to each tubular unit. An eighth spacer-bar is of box form and has hieroglyphs in silhouette soldered to its outer face.
Necklace of three flies on a chain, gold. H. 9.0 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52671. The Order of the Golden Fly appears to have been a military decoration, perhaps of Canaanite origin (ri. Beelzebub, 'Lord of Flies'), bestowed for valour in the field. These three examples found among Ah-hotpe's jewels are the largest and best versions of such an award which, in view of the amount of gold that went into their making, was of great intrinsic value. The design of the flies is of admirable boldness and simplicity. The stripes on the thorax have been simulated by cutting six longitudinal and two transverse slots into the domed body. As the wearer moves, the flash of light over this lattice of metal gives something of the iridescence of the natural insect. The flies are suspended by large rings soldered between the eyes on a loop-in-loop chain furnished with a simple hook-and-eye fastener.
Bracelet, gold. D. (of opening) 6 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52073. This is one of only two known examples of a type of bracelet commonly shown on the monuments of the XVIllth Dynasty and which is probably a translation into metal of an ivory archetype. The jewel has been made by bending a strip of gold, 3.3 cm. in width, into a circle and soldering the two ends together. The resulting cylinder has been hammered on stakes so as to raise an expansion on the cylinder wall for most of its height leaving, however, an upper and lower border. 43 Armlet, gold inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli and turquoise (?). D. 6.6 cm. H. 7.3 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52068. This is an early example of a kind of bracelet that, in the New Kingdom, was to supplement the flexible types which had been so characteristic of earlier times. In essence it consists of two rigid half-cylinders hinged together at both ends, one hinge-pin being fixed and the other furnished with a knob by which it can be withdrawn or inserted to form a fastening. In this example one half is made in the form of Nekhebet, holding shen-signs in her talons; and the other, as two curved bars inlaid with blue and green stones between thick gold cloisons and joined together at their centre by a gold disk inlaid with carnelian. The green inlays have discoloured to brown in places and other inlays are missing, notably the beak of the vulture. The design of the bird is poor and the techniques show a considerable decline from the standards of the Middle Kingdom.
Bracelet, gold inlaid with lapis lazuli. Greater diam. 5.5 cm., smaller diam. 4.8 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52069. This is another example of the rigid bracelet. It consists of two half-cylinders to which have been soldered the various elements of the design cut in gold plate with the details added by chasing. The background to this raised scene has been inlaid with a mosaic of pieces of lapis lazuli cemented in position with a resinous adhesive which is visible as a black substance where the inlays are missing. The balanced scene on the right half shows the Earth God Geb wearing a short cloak and the Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt as he supports his son, King Amosis, who kneels before him to be crowned. The names, titles and epithets of the king are given in two panels flanking the hinges at both ends. The other half-cylinder shows the ancestral spirits of the Kings of Upper and Lower Egypt, as kneeling men wearing jackal or falcon masks and raising their arms in jubilation to promise Amosis 'all joy' and all life and sovereignty for ever'. The two halves are fixed together by hinges, one pin of which is retractable to form the clasp.
Pendant on a chain, gold and lapis lazuli. L. (of chain) 201 cm., H. (of scarab) 3.0 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52670. This jewel is technically the finest among Ah-hotpe's treasure and may indicate that it was made in a Memphite workshop late in the reign of Amosis. The long chain is a sextuple loop-in-loop type made with great skill and regularity. It is fitted at its ends with two ferrules each in the form of a goose-head recurved on its elongated neck, which is inscribed with one of the two great names of Amosis. At the back of the head is soldered a ring as a means of fastening the ends with a tie-cord. The scarab is made from two heavy gold plates, fitted with cloisons to form cells which are filled with pieces of lapis lazuli cemented in position. The legs were cast separately and soldered to the base-plate, giving the underside of the scarab a most naturalistic appearance. Through the suspension rings passes a loop of twisted wire of a somewhat improvised nature; this may indicate that the scarab was not originally designed to be worn on this chain, but had been requisitioned for use as a heart scarab.
Falcon Collar, gold with green and blue inlays. W. (of each terminal) 55 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52672. This collar has been reconstructed from a number of the elements found loose on the body of Ah-hotpe, but nearly one hundred and forty other pieces (Cat. No. 52733) have not been included. In view of the unique design of this jewel there is now no certainty about how it should be re-strung. As restored at present, the collar has fourteen rows of beads whereas the falcon-headed shoulder pieces are perforated with eight holes. The various elements have been made by hammering gold foil into suitable moulds and trimming the edges. They include lions pursuing ibex, gazelles, scrolls, birds in flight, winged uraei and cats. While many of these designs are characteristically Egyptian, some of them suggest Aegean influence, particularly in such details as the 'flying gallop' of the coursing animals. At least the profusion and combination of such elements in a collar of traditional form is distinctly un-Egyptian and may represent the more Asiatic taste of the Hyksos rulers of Lower Egypt who were the patrons of the Memphite jewellers before the conquests of Amosis.
Royal concubines, detail from a wall-painting in tomb No. 69 of Menna at Western Thebes. After the copy by Nina de G. Davies in the British Museum. Middle XVIllth Dynasty. This portion of the painted tomb chapel shows two of the daughters of Menna who were subsidiary wives of Amenophis III. The proud Egyptian beauties are shown in all their finery, which not only includes large gold earrings, collars, bracelets and armlets but a fillet tied round the brows with the ends falling behind. Beneath the fillet is a diadem carrying a gazelle head in front. The vertical rear plumes of Sit-Hathor-Yunet's circlet have here been transferred to the front of the head. The elaborate gold ornament on top of the hair is probably a receptacle for holding the cone of scented unguent which, as it melted, perfumed the wearer's hair and person.
Circlet of a queen or princess, electrum. H. (of stag's head) 8.5 cm. From Salhiya (?) in the Eastern Delta. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 68.136.1. This unique crown, consisting of a band of electrum 1.5 cm. wide perforated to take tie-strings at the rear and mounted with rosettes and animal heads, appears to have been made in Egypt largely under Asiatic inspiration, if it is not an Asiatic import. In the XVIllth Dynasty it became the fashion to decorate the diadems of princesses and lesser queens with the figure of a gazelle's head in place of the uraeus or vulture of principal queens. This crown with its four gazelle heads may have been part of the trousseau of a foreign princess sent as a bride for one of the Pharaohs according to the diplomacy of the age. The four octafoil rosettes, too, are not specifically Egyptian with their sharply pointed petals, but they recall the eight-pointed star-shapes among the granular jewelry of Khnumet. The most extraordinary feature of the diadem, however, is the large hollow deer-head which decorates the centre of the band. Although the deer, under the name of henen, is sometimes represented in Egypt from predynastic times till the XIXth Dynasty, there is no positive evidence that the species was ever indigenous to Egypt or introduced there in ancient times except as stray marvels from Asia. The stylized treatment of deer antlers on this diadem does not suggest the work of a craftsman who was familiar with the appearance of the stag. For this reason the crown may well be the work of an Egyptian goldsmith and not an Asiatic import. It is reputed to have been found with other goldwork of the Middle Kingdom on a remote Delta site not far from the Hyksos stronghold of Avaris.
If the treasure of Queen Ah-hotpe is a sampling of the craft of the Egyptian jewellers at the very beginning of the XVIllth Dynasty, the treasure of the three queens of Tuthmosis III, examples of which are shown in the next seven plates, exhibits their skill a century later when Egypt was in full contact with the high culture of the Eastern Mediterranean. The designs are more sophisticated, the techniques less fumbling, though the actual workmanship does not display the standards achieved in the Lahun and Dahshur jewels. This may be because it was made for secondary queens, evidently of Syrian or Canaanite origin to judge by their names. Originally each queen seems to have been provided with a full set of ornaments of considerable value. In recent years the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art have made valiant attempts to restore this jewelry, now in their possession, to its original appearance as shown here.
Circlet, gold, inlaid with carnelian, blue and green frit (now decayed). L. (of diadem) 43 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 26.8.99. The circlet is a variation on the classical fillet worn from earliest times. A departure from such designs is a sagittal band that prevents the diadem from slipping over the face. The bands are joined in a T-shape which tapers from 2.8 cm. at their junction to 1.6 cm. at their ends. These are furnished with leopard heads worked separately and soldered in place holding rings in their mouths through which tie-cords are passed. The special feature of this headdress is the pair of gazelle heads which are detachable, fitting onto curved thimbles soldered to the front of the diadem. The triple necklaces shown in this illustration have been made up from the great mass of lenticular beads in blue faience that were recovered from this deposit.
A girdle, gold and red glass. L. 96 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 26.8.41. This jewel was worn under the gown. It follows the design of such girdles in the New Kingdom, but for the semicircular main beads it substitutes twenty-two hollow gold fishes, each made in two half shells and soldered along their seams with perforations to take three strings of gold and red glass beads. Like all such girdles it is a continuous zone without a clasp and was put on by passing it over the head and shoulders and allowing it to rest on the hips.
Bracelets, gold inlaid with carnelian, turquoise and blue frit (?). L. 6.0 cm., D. c. 5.6 cm. tapering to 5.3 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 26.8.125-8. These are two of the three pairs of bracelets of this type which were owned by the queens. They are of rigid pattern with pin fastenings. The exteriors are fashioned by the cloisonné technique with rims and raised gold bars alternating with cells of equal width for the insertion of plaques of carnelian, turquoise and a blue substance, now decayed, which was probably a blue frit imitating lapis lazuli. These inlays are ribbed to imitate fifteen rows of cylindrical beads strung between gold spacers. The insides of the bracelets are inscribed with the names and titles of Tuthmosis III and show signs of wear.
A belt of gold, carnelian, turquoise and blue faience (?) beads. L. c. 78 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 26.8.118-9. The classical Egyptian garment worn by women was the simple linen shift held up by shoulder-straps. No belt was required for this, though girdles might be worn beneath it. In the later years of the XVIllth Dynasty the more flowing robes of the time demanded some kind of sash to confine the gown around the waist, and a long ribbed girdle, usually woven of some red material, smakes it appearance. The two examples in the Metropolitan Museum, however, are the only examples known of a woman's belt in ancient Egypt. It consists of a number of coloured stone beads shaped like acacia seeds strung between spacer-bars consisting of seven similarly shaped gold beads soldered together.
The 'Long' Headdress, gold inlaid with carnelian, turquoise and coloured frit (now decayed). H. 37 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 26.8.117. This wig, or hair-cover, is a development of the rosette decorations sewn or strung to the braided tresses of the wearer in earlier dynasties. In this example, the rosettes are more numerous and elaborate and are strung on a support which is independent of the hair. The reconstruction shows about 850 inlaid pieces strung in such a way as to form a flexible golden cowl descending at the back and front to cover the typical long wig or coiffure of Egyptian women. Originally the rosettes were inlaid with blue and green artificial stones, which have decayed through damp to the condition of a white paste. This headdress, when it first left the hands of the jeweller, must have been a glittering and opulent object, particularly in the Egyptian sunshine; but it was also a heavy one and its present weight of over one kilogram will have to be doubled to arrive at some idea of how much it weighed when all its inlays were in place.
Falcon Collar, gold inlaid with carnelian, turquoise and blue and green frit (decayed). Size of terminals. W. 7.4 cm., H. 5.2 cm In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 26.8.59 et al. The collar has been reconstructed from the two shoulder' pieces in the form of falcon heads, with eyes inlaid with obsidian and markings in carnelian and turquoise (?), the latter somewhat discoloured, and with beads that have been selected in modern times because of the same colour relationships and standard of craftsmanship. The order of stringing is somewhat uncertain and it is possible that elements from two collars have been combined here.
Broad Collar, gold inlaid with carnelian, turquoise and blue frit (decayed). Size of terminals, W. 7.2 cm., H. 3.5 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 26.8.135, 70 et al. This collar is also restored, the basis for the reconstruction being the two shoulder-pieces with a design of the king's prenomen, centre, flanked by two lotus flowers in cloisonné-work inlaid with carnelian, turquoise and blue frit, of which little now remains. The beads were in the form of nefer-signs in gold, graduated in size, half inlaid with coloured stones or frit (mostly missing), and half with plain gold fronts, showing that the gold nefers alternated with coloured ones. In the re-stringing, the plain gold backs of the nefers and the palmette pendants have been shown with the inlaid fronts of the shoulder pieces to give a uniform appearance. With this reconstruction has been included a lotus flower counterpoise still retaining some of its carnelian and turquoise inlays. It would probably have had a lower border of bead tassels.
Orchestra and dancers, part of a wall-painting from the tomb of Neb-amun in the British Museum. Reign of Amenophis III. XVIllth Dynasty. The complete scene shows guests being entertained at a banquet. The squatting girls play on the double pipes, clap their hands and sing of the joys of the Inundation, when 'the whole land is flooded with love', while two of their number perform a posturing dance. Their jewelry is worthy of note. All wear fillets on their heads, probably made of strips of papyrus sewn with leaves and flower petals, or bead versions of such an ornament. A similar decoration surrounds the container holding the unguent cone on top of their hair. A lotus flower tucked in the fillet hangs over the forehead. Around their necks they wear festal collars and over them plain gold collars or complete inlaid gold and silver versions of the floral collar. Their earrings or ear-plugs are large. They wear two or three gold bracelets on each forearm and two gold inlaid armlets. In addition, because the dancers have divested themselves of their gowns, the girdles around their hips are readily visible.
Broad Collar of King Smenkh-ka-re, gold and electrum inlaid with coloured glass. Size of terminals, L. 9 cm., H. 4.5 cm. Found on the body of the king in tomb No. 55 in the Valley of the Kings in 1907. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52,674. The collar is shown in the condition in which it was re-threaded soon after its recovery from the tomb but, owing to the lack of any records kept by the excavators, it is impossible to say how authentic the reconstruction is. The collar is obviously incomplete, a considerable number of ring beads are missing from the six strings, and other elements were retrieved which are not included; a few parts were stolen by Davis' men. Since each shoulder-piece is perforated with six holes there were five rows of pendants which are present here; but in a confusion of sizes and sequences.
Ear ornaments, gold, faience, glass and stone. In the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh. XVIII-XXth Dynasties.
Top Row: Ear-plugs in faience and gold (Reg. Nos. 1965.354, 1883.49.12, 1965.355). The two outer specimens (diam. 4, and 3.2 cm.) are made of faience and have a groove round the periphery by which they could be retained in a hole stretched in the ear-lobe. The specimen in the middle (diam. 4 cm.) is made of massive gold and was found in the vicinity of the Royal Tomb at Amarna.
Middle Row: Earrings in glass and jasper. From the Acworth Collection. Average diam. 2.5 cm. Reg. Nos. 1961.514, 516-8, 528. Four of the earrings here illustrated are made of canes of glass of two colours bent into a penannular shape and formed with a loop at each end. A study of metal, wood or ivory was passed through these stirrups and a hole in the lobe of the ear to hold them in position. The centre ring is made of red jasper of D-section and is provided with a perforated lug from which hang two bead tassels. The position of the slit shows how these rings were worn. They were inserted by stretching the lobe to a very thin ribbon of flesh to pass through the gap. It may be assumed that, once in position, the rings were removed very infrequently, if at all.
Bottom Row: Ear-studs in gold, faience and stone. Average diam. 2.5 cm., average length, 3.2 cm. (Reg. Nos. 1883.49, 9, 10; 1965.350-21. These little mushroom-shaped studs appear about the Amarna Period. Three of those illustrated here are made of faience in two or more colours. The white stone specimen is of the same date. The two outer specimens of gold came from the Royal Tomb at Amarna and probably belonged to one of the royal daughters or wives.
Three finger-rings, gold and silver. L. (of bezels) 2.5, 21, 2.5 cm. Amarna Period, XVIllth Dynasty. In the former collection of Dr K. J. Stern. These signet rings were made by the same technique as the preceding pair. The first is a massive silver specimen inscribed with a version of the prenomen of Amenophis III who is also described as 'the Son of Amun' and 'Happy in Wealth'. The gold ring is inscribed with the phrase, 'Aten, dwelling on the horizon, is the lord of joy'. The third example is also in silver of high quality and is inscribed with the prenomen of Akhenaten and the epithet, 'Beloved of Re-Herakhty'.
Finger-rings, gold and carnelian, reign of Akhenaten. In the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh. Reg. Nos. 1883.49.8,2,1; 190.1. All the rings, with the exception of the specimen on the right, were found in the vicinity of the Royal Tomb at Amarna. The example on the left has a swivelling bezel which is threaded on the ring by drawing out the ends of the loop into very long wires, passing them through its longitudinal hole from opposite ends, and coiling them onto the body. The next (diam. 3 cm.) has a bezel of gold surmounted by the figure of a frog and encircled by a double row of large granules. The other two rings are examples of the massive signet rings of the period made by casting in cire perdue, the bezel being en masse with the hoop. The inscription, in intaglio, was also cut in the wax before the ring was cast. The gold ring (diam. 2-5 cm.) is inscribed with the name of Queen Nefertiti: the other specimen (diam. 2 cm.) is made of an alloy of gold with a high copper content, peculiar to this period. It bears the prenomen of 'The Good God Akhenaten' in a cartouche upon a bark with prow and stern in the form of a royal head wearing horns and plumes.
Vulture Collar of King Smenkh-ka-re, gold. H. 24 cm., W. 21 cm. Found on the head of the king in tomb No. 55 in the Valley of the Kings in 1907. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52, 643. This is a rare example of the 'Collar of the Vulture' known from the coffin pictures of the Middle Kingdom. It had suffered some damage before it was put in the position in which it was found, having lost its right talon holding a shen-sign and the menkhel counterpoise on a gold wire that connected the two perforated lugs near the tips of the wings. A repair had also been made by soldering a patch onto the right pinion. The vulture is cut in thick sheet gold, the lower edges of the design being turned up for a millimetre to give the figure stability. The outline and feathering of the bird is most expertly indicated by unfaltering lines incised by chasing. This collar, and the somewhat inferior specimen found on the body of Tut-ankh-amun, are the only surviving examples of a funerary jewel with which all the mummies of the great Pharaohs were once provided. A more elaborate version in flexible cloisonné-work was also found upon Tut-ankh-amun.
Jewelry from the tomb of King Tut-ankh-amun (c. 1362-1353 oc.) now in the Cairo Museum.
A series of pectoral ornaments found within the Anubis Pylon in the 'Treasury' of the tomb. They are funerary jewels based upon the idea of the transfiguration of the dead king within the primeval shrine or kiosk in which the demiurge first manifested himself at the creation of the world.
Pectoral, gold, inlaid with carnelian, red, light blue and dark blue glass, the last somewhat decayed. H. 121 cm., W. 17.2 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, P3. The kiosk is of simple form with a 'block border' base and supports, a cavetto cornice and a floral frieze. Within it is displayed the sky-goddess Nut in the form of a vulture with protective wings, tail outspread and talons clutching shen-signs. Between the bird and the frieze are the titles and names of the king and the name of the goddess.
Pectoral, gold inlaid with carnelian, green, red, light blue and dark blue glass. H. 10-5 cm., W. 14-5 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, J. The kiosk is of slightly more elaborate form, having in addition to its floral frieze a base of poppy-flowers and lotus buds. In the kiosk appears a scarab carved in the round in green felspar, its wings being of cloisonné-work. The disk of the new-born sun which it supports on its head is here elongated into an oval cartouche containing the prenomen of the king with the additional epithet, 'the Image of the Sun-god'. The design represents the daily resurrection at dawn of the sun-god with whom the king is identified.
Pectoral, poor quality gold, inlaid with quartz set in red cement, green, red, light blue and dark blue glass, the last greatly decayed. H. 12 cm., W. 16.3 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, I. The kiosk is of simple form with a frieze of flower petals below the architrave which carries two anchorages, worked on each face with a winged protective serpent, to take a necklace of four strings. Within the kiosk the sun-god is seen appearing on the primeval Died-column above the waters of Chaos, and is supported by the goddesses Isis (right) and Nephthys (left) with the wings of kites. Uraei wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt (right) and the Red Crown of Lower Egypt (left) support the king's two 'great' names. The design symbolizes the original creation of the universe by the sun-god to whom the dead king has become assimilated.
65 Pectoral, poor-quality gold, much tarnished, inlaid with carnelian (?), red, light blue and dark blue glass, the last badly deteriorated. H. 15.5 cm., W. 20 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, 0. Within the primeval shrine, the cornice of which is flanked with a uraeus wearing a sun-disk, appear Edjo the goddess of Lower Egypt (right) as a winged uraeus, wearing the Red Crown, and Nekhebet the goddess of Upper Egypt (left) as a vulture wearing the White Crown with flanking plumes. Both are resting on neb-baskets and protect with their wings the king who is shown mummiform wearing the Aid-crown of coronation and jubilee, and holding sceptres. The label behind him giving his titles shows that he has now become assimilated to Osiris the god of Resurrection. Shen-signs connect him to the two goddesses. Brief labels behind the goddesses show that they are also identified with Isis and Nephthys. The design symbolizes the resurrection of the dead king, ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt and all that the sun encircles, within the primeval shrine, fanned into life by the wings of Isis and Nephthys.
Pectoral, gold, inlaid with rock crystal backed with coloured cement, green, red, light blue and dark blue glass. H. 128 cm., W. 18.2 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, N. Within the kiosk is a large, bluish-grey, glazed stone (steatite?) scarab supported by kneeling figures of Isis (right) and Nephthys (left) as representatives of the guardian goddesses of the four quarters. The scarab representing the sun-god Khepri at dawn rolls the disk of the sun across the heavens. Here the disk is encircled by two uraei, symbolizing the king of Upper and Lower Egypt whose two great names appear surmounted by sun-disks between the forearms of the goddesses and the architrave. The design represents the daily rebirth of the king as the sun-god.
Pectoral, gold, inlaid with carnelian, red, light blue and dark blue glass. H. 12-6 cm., W. 14.3 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, P1. The kiosk is of simple form, the architrave below the cavetto cornice being decorated with a block border. Within it stands the sky goddess Nut as a woman with vulture's wings, described as 'the Great Spirit', her arms outspread in a protective gesture. Above her are the names and titles of the king. Below is a text to the effect that Nut stretches her arms over the dead king in order to protect his limbs. The attachments for the strings at the side show that this jewel was meant to be worn as the central element in a belt or girdle consisting of four strands threaded with beads or plaques.
Pectoral, with necklace and counterpoise, of gold, electrum, lapis lazuli, green felspar, calcite (some inlays set with coloured cements), white, green, light blue and dark blue glass. Pectoral, H. 11.8 cm., W. 10.8 cm.; counterpoise, H. 6.2 cm. (without tassels), W. 6-8 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269 K, from the same box as Plate 70. The pectoral ornament shows a golden bark carrying the electrum crescent and disk of the moon over the waters of the firmament, symbolized by the lotus buds and flowers springing from the pet-sign for heaven, with alternate light and dark blue dew-drops. The counterpoise is in the form of a lotus flower, flanked by buds and two rosettes, furnished with a bar from which hang nineteen beaded tassels. This is another example of a jewel worn by the king during his lifetime. 69 Above: Bracelet, gold, amethyst, lapis lazuli, carnelian and red jasper. L. of wrist-band, 13-5 cm., W. 1.9 cm.; H. of centre piece 4-1 cm., L. 4.5 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269, M. The centre piece is formed of an amethyst scarab bearing the king's prenomen set in an open oval gold plaque decorated with gold granules. It is flanked by inlaid solar uraei, and bordered by ring beads of stone and gold. The underside is inscribed on the border surrounding the base of the scarab with the titles and prenomen of the king 'Living Forever'.
Below: Bracelet, gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian, light blue and dark blue glass, calcite. L. of wrist-band 10.7 cm., W. 3.5 cm. H. of centre piece 6-6 cm., W. 5.1 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269, G.
The design of the centre piece is based upon the king's prenomen, the scarab being greatly enlarged and formed with gold cloisons inlaid with lapis lazuli and one piece of green glass. The sun-disk between its forelegs has been replaced by a cartouche bearing the king's prenomen (here placed upside down). Its rear legs hold the neb-basket inlaid with blue glass. 70, 71 Details of a pectoral, complete with its straps and counterpoise, found in a box in the tomb of Tut-ankh-amun. Pectoral and counterpoise, gold of rather poor quality, silver, translucent quartz and calcite set in coloured cements, green, red, black, light blue and dark blue glass: electrum and dark blue glass beads. Pectoral, H. 11.5 cm., W. 141 cm.; counterpoise, H. 8.4 cm., W. 7.8 cm.; straps. L. 34.3 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269,1, Q.
The pectoral is in the form of a kiosk with the base decorated with eight groups of heh-signs signifying 'eternity'; and a starry firmament beneath the architrave. Within this naos the king in the Blue Crown, imbricated cloak and feathered garb of his coronation, and holding his sceptres stands before the deities of Memphis seated on thrones. On the left is the lion-headed Sekhmet who holds out a notched palm-rib symbolizing long years of rule; and on the right, Ptah who gives life and power from the sceptre he holds in both hands. Behind Sekhmet is the king's Ka, with another of his names surmounted by a crowned falcon. Behind Ptah is a kneeling figurine of Eternity holding notched palm-ribs and supporting a uraeus wearing the solar disk and coiled upon a neb-sign. Inscriptions declare that Sekhmet promises the king 'years of eternity'; and Ptah, 'Life, Power and Well-being'.
The counterpoise is also of kiosk shape but the columns are of clustered papyrus-bud form and the base has a bar from which hang fourteen beaded tassels, eight of which end in little gold fishes. Within the kiosk, the king wears the Blue Crown and, holding a sceptre, sits on a throne before the winged goddess Maet, from whom he receives the sign of life.
Each strap is made of fifteen plaques of four different designs, the names of the king alternating with his titles and with good wishes, and each is bordered with strings of beads.
There is little doubt from the design of this jewel which shows the king as a terrestrial ruler, and its location within the tomb, that it was not part of his funerary equipment but had been made for his coronation.
Outer: A scarf or stole, probably part of a sacerdotal dress. L 69-5 cm., W. 4.6 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269, 0. The ornament is made of seven strings of blue faience disk beads, caught at intervals by thirteen spacer bars made of graduated tubes of gold soldered together so that it assumes a horse-shoe shape. The terminals are in the form of gold cartouches chased with the names of the king, and with epithets declaring him to be beloved of Sokar and Ptah of Memphis. At the lower edge of each terminal is a row of four ankh-signs (one broken). This object, more of a garment than a jewel, was probably worn around the neck of the king, in the reverse position to that shown on the/ plate, like a stole when officiating in his capacity of chief priest of the Memphite cults.
Inner: Pendant, gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli (blue glass?), carnelian and obsidian (for eyes). H. 7.4 cm., W. 11.7 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, 0.
Pendant, of gold, electrum, lapis lazuli, carnelian, red and blue glass. H. 14.1 cm., W. 16.4 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, I. Found in a casket. The ornament is in the form of a sated vulture made in gold cloisonné-work inlaid with glass and stones. The body is only slightly curved and the tail outspread; the talons hold shen-signs. The head and neck of the bird, however, are worked in the round, apparently by casting. The head is surmounted by an electrum Ate-crown with inlaid feathers, probably indicating that it is the goddess Nekhebet of Upper Egypt who is represented here. The back is chased and fitted with rings to take the suspension cord which ends in tassels.
Bracelet, gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian and quartz set in coloured cement. Internal diameters, max. 5.4 cm., min. 4.2 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269, N. The bracelet consists of a massive, curved oval gold plate carrying the main design, hinged to a curved rectangular gold plate worked with a geometrical pattern and forming the connecting strap. A retractable pin at one of the hinges serves as a fastener. The main design is a scarab, the body of which is formed of gold cells set with pieces of lapis lazuli; its legs are of gold.
Clasp, or counterpoise, gold and silver, inlaid with lapis lazuli, calcite set with coloured cements, green, red, and blue glass. H. 6.8 cm., W. 6 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, B.
The central element is a cartouche containing the king's prenomen surmounted by the crescent moon and disk, the latter of silver heavily tarnished.
Clasp, gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian and green felspar. H. 5.6 cm., W. 5.6 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, L. This fastening is probably an element in a bracelet or belt, the design of which is based upon the king's name. The scarab supports a neb-basket with its rear legs, and flanking the sun-disk held between its front legs are two h-signs, making the group for 'eternity'.
Pendant, gold inlaid with lapis lazuli, green felspar and calcite set in coloured cement. H. 7.5 cm., W. 8.2 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, P. The design of this jewel is also based upon the elements in the king's prenomen Neb-khepheru-re. The scarab is carved from pieces of lapis lazuli set in gold cloisons. The falcon wings in chased gold are more stylized in order to fit into a circular shape.
Pectoral, gold, lapis lazuli, blue, red and green glass. H. 6-5 cm., W.11 cm. Carter Cat. No. 256, PPP. Found on the mummy of Tut-ankh-amun. The bird is the sociable vulture, representing Nekhebet. The body is worked in the round, the head being cast separately. This jewel is important as being one of the earliest examples of enamelling. The cloisons of the body, tail and the greater coverts of the wings are filled with lapis lazuli-coloured glass, apparently introduced in powdered form and fired in situ. The lesser coverts are filled with red glass and a crater formed by an air bubble may be seen in nearly every cell.
Above: Pendant, gold, inlaid with carnelian, turquoise, green felspar, lapis lazuli and calcite. H. 9 cm., W. 10.5 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, A.
A scarab of lapis lazuli, with falcon wings in cloisonné-work, supports between his forelegs the red disk of the new-born sun as he stands upon a neb-basket with three carnelian inlaid strokes, thus forming the prenomen of the king, Neb-khepheru-re ('Master of Transformations like Re'), besides representing the birth of the sun-god.
Pendant, gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise, and light blue glass: the eye of obsidian, or black glass. H. 11-7 cm., W. 12-6 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, Ml. The jewel is in the form of a falcon with wings outspread, bearing on its vertex the red disk of the rising sun, and holding shen-signs in its talons which are also attached to the wings by ankh-signs, one being damaged. This jewel, representing the king as the newly risen Horus, is of traditional form. It is probably part of the king's coronation regalia repacked into the wrong box.
Pectoral, gold, silver, chalcedony, carnelian, calcite set in coloured cements, lapis lazuli, turquoise, obsidian, green, red, blue, black and white glass. H. 14.9 cm., W. 14.5 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, D. The lower part of this complicated jewel consists of a floral garland. The central parts show a solar falcon in cloisonné-work, its wings outspread and its talons holding shen-signs and the heraldic flowers of Lower and Upper Egypt the lotus flower and the flowering rush. The head and body of the bird have been replaced by a chalcedony scarab, worked in the round, representing Khepri the sun-god at dawn. Flanking Khepri are protective solar uraei. Instead of the usual disk of the sun, the forelegs of Khepri support an elaborate symbol representing both the sun and the moon. It takes the form of a celestial bark bearing the left eye of the sky-god Horus which was miraculously restored by Thoth, the ibis-headed god of the moon, after it had been torn to pieces in the contest between Horus and the storm-god Seth. This is flanked by protective solar uraei upholding the crescent and disk of the moon. Within this symbol is a figure of the king supported by the ibis-headed Thoth and the falcon-headed sun-god Re, the two former wearing the crescent and disk of the moon, the last the solar disk.
This jewel is an elaborate rebus on the prenomen of the king. But it also symbolizes the birth of the sun and the moon, and was doubtless part of the king's coronation regalia when a new son of the sun-god was born to rule Egypt at the beginning of the old lunar year.
Counterpoise, gold of inferior quality, lapis lazuli, calcite, obsidian, green, light blue and dark blue glass. H. 6.9 cm., W. 8.2 cm. Carter Cat. No. 267, [.The design shows the figure of Eternity, flanked by uraei, kneeling on a mat to uphold the protective eye of Horus, with the Tyet girdle of Isis in place of the usual tadpole-and-shen-sign. This, however, is seen at the base of each notched palm-rib, signifying, 'myriads of years of rule', which forms the outer border of the jewel and supports the heavens forming its top.
Pectoral, gold, inlaid with carnelian, dark red, light and dark blue glass. H. 16.5 cm., W. 24-4 cm. Carter Cat. No. 261, M. From the Anubis pylon. The base and supports of the kiosk are decorated with a block border, but in place of the usual cornice appears the winged disk of Horus of Edfu flanked by coiled uraei enfolding sun-disks. Within the kiosk are squatting figures of Isis (right) and Nephthys (left), supporting the winged scarab of the sun-god in his aspect of Khepri at dawn. The scarab is carved in the round from a greenish speckled stone, on the flat reverse of which is inscribed a spell from the Book of the Dead exhorting the heart of the deceased not to bear false witness at the Last Judgment. The inlaid inscriptions linking the various parts give the names of the king and the promises of the protecting goddesses. The design symbolizes the transformation of the king into the new-born sun carried on the wings of the sky-god Horus.
Left and right: A pair of earrings, gold (tarnished in places), carnelian, calcite and quartz set in coloured cements, dark blue and green glass. H. 11.8 cm., W. 5.4 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269, A3. The fasteners consist of two ribbed tubes, one sliding in the other, capped with studs formed with two uraei. To each of these, attached by stirrups hidden behind a spread-falcon, is a large, gold, flanged ring, the interior filled with a carved carnelian figurine of the king holding a sceptre and flanked by a solar uraeus, all upon a heb-festival sign. Centre: A pair of ear-studs, gold inlaid with carnelian, light blue and dark blue glass, calcite set in coloured cement. H. 7.0 cm.
Carter Cat. No, 269, A5. These studs penetrate the hole in the lobe of the ear and are closed with a cap, similar to the devices shown in the more elaborate examples.
Left and right: A pair of ear-studs, gold inlaid with segments , of glass. Diam. 2.5 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269, A6. These studs are smaller than the other examples in this group, the tubes being about 0.5 cm. in diameter, suggesting that they were worn by the king in infancy before the holes in his ear-lobes had been distended to 0.75 cm. or more as measured on his mummy. The design incorporates two uraei as protective devices.
Centre: A pair of earrings, 'purple' gold, dark blue glass, black resin. H. 10 cm., W. 5.5 cm. Carter Cat. No. 269, A5. The tubes of the fasteners are capped at the outer ends with gold flowers. The stirrups connect these to hoops formed of dark resin beads, alternating with hollow gold ball-beads, formed into a hoop with blue glass rings between them. All the goldwork is coloured red except for the applied yellow gold granules and wires.
All these earrings are undoubtedly examples of jewels worn by the king in his early years and put away as custom required when he reached the age of manhood. Although commoners are sometimes shown wearing earrings, the Pharaoh never is, to the writer's knowledge.
The diadem, gold, inlaid with carnelian, chalcedony, turquoise, obsidian, light blue and dark blue glass. Average diam. 19 cm., W. of band 2 cm. Carter Cat. No. 256, 40. Found on the mummy of Tut-ankh-amun. This royal fillet is in the form of a boatman's-circler. To the band are attached the vulture head of Nekhebet in cast gold with obsidian eyes, and the cobra of Edjo, the tail of the latter winding into an arch to prevent the band from slipping over the brow.
A statuette of a king, gold cast solid, with glass bead neck-lace. H. 5.0 cm. Carter Cat. No. 320, C. Found sealed in a nest of miniature coffins in the tomb of Tut-ankh-amun. The ruler, wearing the Blue Crown and carrying sceptres, squats in the pose of the newly born sun-god and the newly arisen king. The statuette was suspended from a loop-in-loop chain and evidently worn as a personal jewel by the owner.
A pair of bracelets, gold and lapis lazuli. Greatest diam. 6.6 cm., greatest width 6 cm. From Tell Basta, XIXth Dynasty. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos, 52575-6. These bracelets were part of the Tell Basta Treasure, and are examples of the rigid type that makes its appearance at the beginning of the XVIllth Dynasty. They were presumably part of the temple vestments, probably decorating a wooden cult statue of Ramesses II. The main half-cylinder carries a dome-shaped piece of lapis lazuli forming the body of a goose with two heads and a common tail. The outline of this insertion determines the shape of the half-cylinder which is decorated with granules, plain, beaded and twisted wires. The other half is a plain gold band hinged to the major portion and decorated with parallel narrow half-tubes alternately plain and ribbed.
Pendant, gold and decayed glass (?) inlays. H. 7.2 cm. Probably XIXth Dynasty. In the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Reg. No. 68.836. This pendant is made of gold and represents the king perhaps Ramesses II, as the young sun-god at his birth from a lotus flower, which rises out of the primeval waters to open and reveal him within. The comma-shaped depression held the side-lock, probably of lapis lazuli and now missing.
Queen Nefert-ari makes an offering to Osiris. Part of a wall' painting in the tomb of the queen in the Valley of the Queens, Western Thebes. XIXth Dynasty, c. 1280 sc. The detail shows the chief wife of Ramesses II during the earlier part of his reign offering water to the god of the dead before a piled-up altar. She wears the headdress of a principal queen in the form of a vulture, no actual example of which has survived, but which must have been made of plain or inlaid gold elements threaded together to form a flexible covering. This is surmounted by a squat modius carryinga sun-disk and two tall flickering feathers made of gold. In her ears she wears an ornament of silver, probably representing a papyrus umbel, its stalk passing through the hole in her ear-lobe. Around her neck is a Broad Collar probably made of inlaid plaques imitating flower petals, mandrake fruits and chevron borders. On her wrists are inlaid silver bracelets of traditional form.
Floral collar, polychrome faience, late XVIllth Dynasty. D. 31.5 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Reg. No. 40.2.5. This example of costume jewelry is typical of the opulent and florid Amarna Period when the manufacture of faience and glass reached a peak of technical and artistic brilliance. The collar is an imitation in more permanent material of the festal collars made of ephemeral papyrus, flowers and leaves. They were cheaper to produce than the expensive versions in gold and inlays and could be supplied as favours to guests at banquets. Several faience collars of this type were found in the tomb of Tut-ankh-amun.
Coffin-board of a Singer of Amun, wood covered with gesso painted and varnished. XXIst-XXIInd Dynasty, from Thebes. In the British Museum, Reg. No. 22542. The painted decoration on the upper part of this coffin-board of a priestess of Amun 1000-900 [3 c) is an elaboration of the natural flower garlands which were placed on the persons of the deceased during the burial ceremonies. A lower fringe of lotus flowers is visible and above this are rows of lotus petals, mandrake fruits, cornflowers and poppy petals.
Jewelry from the Theban tomb of an infant princess, gold. Late XIXth Dynasty. In the Cairo Museum. In 1908, Edward Ayrton discovered a small pit tomb (No. 56) in the Valley of the Kings at Western Thebes, mostly full of mud and debris which had been washed into it, after it had been opened in antiquity by thieves who partly rifled it. A number of jewels inscribed with the names of Queen Twosre and her first husband King Sethos II (c. 1210 sc) were found near a decayed miniature coffin which probably belonged to their infant daughter.
Centre: Pair of earrings, gold. H. 13.5 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52397-8. The earrings are of a similar construction to those of Tut-ankh-amun, and since they are inscribed with the cartouches of Sethos II may have belonged to him when he first came to the throne as a minor, though it is perhaps more likely that they were specially made for this burial. The basis of the design is a concave corolla fluted into eight petals with a hemispherical boss at its centre. Each alternate petal is inscribed with the names of Sethos II worked in repousse.
Outer: A necklace, gold. H. (of pendants) 2.1 cm. D. (of beads) 0.7 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52679. A considerable number of loose elements which have been threaded into two necklaces, one in Cairo and the other in New York, were found by Ayrton in his clearance of pit tomb No. 56. This is the earliest example of a filigree technique which has persisted in certain metal jewelry to the present day, particularly in the Mediterranean area. In Egypt it was imitated also in the manufacture of certain open-work beads in faience, a material which often copied metalwork forms.
Centre: A pair of earrings, electrum, carnelian and blue faience. D. 4-6 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos: 52399. The earrings were found scattered among the other mud-encased jewelry in the pit-tomb and have been reassembled with a fair degree of probability.
Outer: Circlet, gold. D. 17.0 cm. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52644. The coronet consists of a circle of thick gold sheet, 0.4 cm. in width, perforated at irregular intervals, varying from 2.5 to 4.3 cm. with sixteen holes for attaching the ornaments in the form of flowers. These have been made by burnishing gold foil into stone or wood moulds. Five of the petals are inscribed alternately with the name of King Sethos II and Queen Twosre. A notable feature of this coronet is that some at least of the flowers were made of coloured gold, though the central boss appears to have been of plain metal, and it seems possible that originally the flowers assembled on the band were alternately of red and yellow gold.
The adult jewelry found in this tomb has all the appearance of having been made somewhat carelessly from flimsy materials; but the various pieces are en suite, their design being based upon a floral motif, perhaps a poppy or anemone, 'the lilies of the field'. Despite the fact that they are inscribed with the names of Queen Twosre and her husband, Sethos II, it is doubtful whether they were made for her, since they do not bear the insignia of a reigning queen. The assumption is, therefore, that they were made hurriedly for the equipment of the deceased infant.
Ramesses III and his son, Amen-(hir) khopeshef. Part of a wall-painting in the tomb of the prince in the Valley of the Queens, Western Thebes. XXth Dynasty c. 1180 BC. Ramesses III and his son are shown in full regalia, the prince acting as a fan-bearer. The king wears a necklace and Broad Collar, armlets and bracelets, and has a belt made of inlaid gold plaques from which hangs an apron from a leopard head, also made in cloisonné. The prince wears. a Broad Collar and bracelets: his sash is woven with a pattern or has the design applied in needlework. The sidelock of infancy into which his hair is plaited is confined by an inlaid gold clasp which takes the form of a miniature bracelet.
Bracelets of the High Priest Pi-nudjem II, gold, carnelian and lapis lazuli. Outer diam. 6-8 cm. From Thebes, XXIst Dynasty. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. No. 52089. These were found upon the mummy of the First Prophet (High Priest) of Amun, Pi-nudjem, who was the virtual ruler of Upper Egypt in the latter part of the XXIst Dynasty (c. 960 sc). They are variations upon the design of the rigid bracelet, the two half-cylinders being reduced to half-loops, their interior surfaces flattened to a ribbon. In cross-section each hoop is almost circular.
Ear-plugs of Ramesses XI, gold. L 16 cm., D. 5 cm. From Abydos. XXth Dynasty. In the Cairo Museum, Cat. Nos. 52323-4. These massive gold ornaments were found by Mariette in 1859 on a decayed mummy, evidently an unknown woman of the royal household. Each consists of a hollow, lenticular disk, grooved on the rim for inserting in the greatly enlarged holes in the ear-lobes. On the outer face of this disk is soldered a plate decorated with a winged sun-disk in repousse, and from which the pendants are suspended. The rest of the outer face carries five uraei worked in the round; three of them carry solar disks, while the outer pair wear atel-crowns. The pendants take the form of solar uraei, each made of two plates soldered together, five in the first row attached to a bar and hinged to the disks. A feature of this jewel is that the disk is made of coloured ('purple') gold, the most recent ornament so far known to exhibit this technique.
Jewels from the royal tombs at Tanis, XXIst Dynasty. In the Cairo Museum. In 1939 Pierre Montet, excavating in the area of the main temple at Tanis, uncovered the substructures of a group of royal tombs which had been built in the south-west corner of the site. The tombs of Psusennes I and Amenophthis of the XXIst Dynasty, and four kings of the XXIInd Dynasty were found, most of them reasonably intact though it was obvious that their burials had been disturbed and rearranged in antiquity. From these deposits a number of jewels, nearly all destined for funerary use, were retrieved. Some of these later examples of the goldsmith's craft are of excellent workmanship and novel design, showing that the best standards achieved in the New Kingdom could be maintained on occasion in the Late Period, so far as can be judged from the little that has survived.
Bracelets of King Psusennes I, a pair, gold inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian and green felspar (?). H. 7 cm. Greatest diam. 8.0 cm. Montet Cat. Nos. 653-54. These display a late variation on the design of the rigid bracelet consisting of two half-cylinders hinged at each end, one of the hinge-pins being retractable to form a clasp. The bracelet is worked a Our in a cloisonné design. In each half-cylinder is a winged scarab holding a sun-disk in his forelegs and a shen-sign between his rear legs. This is flanked by the cartouches of the king bearing his two great names and surmounted by solar disks. Some of the inlays have been lost. These bracelets were found on the mummy of King Amenophthis.
Bracelet of King Psusennes I, one of a pair, gold. H. 4.3 cm. Outer diam. 6.1 cm., inner diam. 4.9 cm. Montet Cat. No. 549. This restrained but effective design of bracelet consists of two half-cylinders hinged together, one of the pins being retractable. Each half is composed of seven tubes of D-section, the outer surfaces being alternately smooth and ribbed. An inscription chased in the interior surface gives the titles and names of the king and his chief queen.
Anklet, one of a pair, gold and lapis lazuli. H. 5 cm. Greatest diam. 6 cm. Montet Cat. No. 600. These slightly tapering limb ornaments are one of the few incontrovertible examples of male anklets to have survived, having been found in position on the legs of King Psusennes I. The design is en suite with the bracelet shown below, the greater half-cylinder being composed of similar lunettes alternately gold, and lapis lazuli set in gold. The lesser half-cylinder is formed with a design of the king's prenomen.
Bracelet, one of a pair, gold and lapis lazuli. L. c. 19.5 cm. Montet Cat. No. 598. From the position in which he found them, Montet argued that the pair of bracelets, of which one example is illustrated here, were worn just below the knee. Such knee ornaments, however, do not appear on the monuments at any period. The lengthy ritual of wrapping the royal corpse gave a number of chances for the embalmers to commit errors. Judging from the design of a rigid anklet belonging to Psusennes made en suite, this jewel is really a bracelet. It consists of two pairs of rectangular elements giving the names and titles of Psusennes in cartouches inlaid in cloisonné-work and the lunate elements, alternately in gold, and lapis lazuli set in gold.
Finger-rings, from the gold sheathed fingers of King Psusennes I, gold, lapis lazuli, red jasper and glazed steatite. Average D. 2.5 cm. Montet Cat. Nos. 566, 575, 570. Each finger-ring is made of a penannular gold hoop with ends bent sharply to enter the rings on the fundae, and are held in position by a separate thin connecting wire threading the hole in the bezel and wrapped for some distance around the shank. Three of the rings are decorated with a wed/el-eye on the obverse and the name of the king on the reverse. The fourth has a simple scarab mounted in a massive gold funda. The rings appear to have been made for funerary use since for everyday wear the more robust rivetted design had long been in existence.
Collar, gold, of King Psusennes I. D. c. 20 cm. Montet Cat. No. 482. This collar is a late version of five shebyu necklaces of honour fashioned into a single unit. The jewel is built up of 382 lenticular beads 1.25 cm. in diameter. Four groups of five such beads have been soldered into spacer bars so as to divide the collar into five sectors. The fastener is a trapezoidal box 6-5 cm. long, the outer face of which has been worked with a design imitating the reticulations of the separate strings of beads. Seven rings are soldered to the lower edge to take the tasselled counterpoise, but this has gone astray.
Collar, gold inlaid with 'Egyptian blue' (?), found on the mummy of King Amenophthis. D. 26 cm. L. (of pendant) 15 cm. Montet Cat. No. 644. The collar consists of eleven strings of beads attached to an end piece in two parts. These fasten together by means of a pin traversing perforated lugs to form a trapezoidal element of gold inlaid on the face with chevrons of lapis lazuli (?), repeating the design that is formed in beadwork on the rest of the collar. These beads consist of perforated gold cylinders with dentated edges meshing into similar beads in imitation of lapis lazuli, many of which are missing.
Upper: Pectoral of King Amenophthis, gold inlaid with lapis lazuli, much decayed. H. 9.8 cm., W. 10.6 cm. Montet Cat. No. 645. The primeval shrine has a base, two pillars and an architrave all decorated with a block-border pattern and surmounted by a cavetto cornice carrying the winged disk of Horus of Edfu. Within this, on a podium inscribed with the title and cartouche of Amenophthis, 'beloved of Osiris the Lord of Abydos', squats Isis, left, and Nephthys, right, supporting the scarab of Khepri who holds the new-born disk of the sun between his forelegs and the name of the king between his rear legs. Two pairs of rings on the upper edge of the cornice are the means of taking a suspensory chain similar to the example shown below. The design is feeble, the proportions and drawing of the two goddesses being particularly poor, and the execution careless. As this was essentially a funerary jewel few pains appear to have been taken to produce a masterpiece.
Lower: Pectoral of King Amenopht his, gold. II. 8.8 cm. W. 8.5 cm. Montet Cat. No. 646. The pectoral is made of two sheets of gold, comprising the front and the back, soldered to an edgingso as to form a thin hollow box, 2 mm. thick. The face is worked in repousse and chasing with a scene showing, within the kiosk, left, the deceased King Amenophthis wearing the nemes headcloth, broad collar, kilt and bull's tail, and offering incense to Osiris 'the Lord of Eternity', seated right. The inscription between them speaks of offering incense and libations 'three times' to 'his father Osiris'. At the base of the shrine is a dado of died and (yet amulets. Above, the cavetto cornice is decorated with the winged disk of Horus of Edfu. A simple loop-in-loop chain, the ends soldered to ferrules, forms the means of suspension.
Pendant, gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian and frit. H. 9 cm. XXIInd Dynasty. In the Louvre, Paris. Reg. No. E.6204. This technically superb jewel, here shown enlarged to over twice its size, is an elaborate example of a pendant representing a divinity. A large ring soldered to the rear part of each figure provides the means of suspension. The three statuettes, cast in solid gold and affixed to a base-plate decorated with an inlaid border, represent the Osirian trinity. In the centre is Osiris, with whom King Osorkon is identified, squatting on a shrine, the body of which is carved from a block of lapis lazuli inscribed with the names of the king. He is protected on one side by his wife Isis, and on the other by his son, the falcon-headed Horus wearing the Double Crown. Isis is represented as an elegant woman wearing a tight-fitting dress and wearing a disk and cow-horns. Her long wig with lappets would have been fashioned of 'Egyptian blue' but this has decayed and entirely disappeared.
Pectoral, gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli, turquoise and steatite. W. 7 cm., H. 3 cm. Ptolemaic Period or later. From Saqqara. In the Brooklyn Museum, Reg. No. 37.804E. Though this jewel was made in Hellenistic times, it is one of the best surviving examples of an amulet that is characteristically Egyptian in its design and technique. Such ba-bird pectorals are not uncommon in burials of the late period. They represent the ba or soul of the deceased as a human-headed falcon with wings outspread, a' concept which first makes its appearance in this form during the New Kingdom. An early example in cloisonné-work was found on the breast of the mummy of Tut-ankh-amun. The specimen illustrated here is much smaller and the cloisonné-work less elaborate but the body is made in the round, the human face bearing a particularly spiritualized expression. The jewel was attached to the mummy wrappings by two ribbed loops.
Writer – Cyril Aldred