Onyx stone back cartouche with 18k Gold Ancient Egyptian symbols that mean Health, Life, and Happiness. The Eye of Horus at the top is a healing symbol, protects the wearer and makes them strong. In the middle are ancient symbols that mean health (dja), life (ankh), and happiness (seneb). The bottom is the lotus flower, symbolizing rebirth. In myth the sun was born from a lotus.
(Jasper, gold, glazed composition, glass and carnelian)
These loose beads and pendants are now re-strung as a two-tiered necklace in the fashion of royal jewelry of the late Eighteenth Dynasty. The cornflower pendants in the lower row are of gold foil over a core, the blue glazed composition head is held in position by a gold spike. Only the central example is completely of glazed composition (green patterned body, yellow head), but it also is in two parts. The drop shaped pendants are of sheet gold punched into a mold with a back plate added later.
They have a suspension loop at top and bottom to accommodate two strings of beads, as now re-strung. The variously shaped gold beads are all of thin sheet metal folded over and joined along one edge. The remaining larger beads and a handful of the smaller are of red jasper, carnelian and green glass; all the others are of red, yellow and blue glazed composition. The upper string ends in a single hollow sheet gold pendant shaped like a bunch of grapes; the lower ends in two carnelian bell shaped flower heads.
From Valley of the Kings (Biban ElMoluk), West Thebes. New Kingdom, Late 18th Dynasty, ca. 1330 BC. Now in the British Museum, EA65615
Ancient Egyptian frog ring, dated to the eighteenth to nineteenth dynasties of the New Kingdom, or c. 1543-1187 BCE. The ring is made of Egyptian blue, which, according to the source, was a “vibrant blue pigment, considered to be the first synthetically-produced pigment, composed of quartz sand, a copper compound, and calcium carbonate. The colour blue was highly prized in ancient Egypt and the creation of a synthetic pigment allowed artists to produce imitations of the precious stones lapis lazuli and turquoise, which were expensive and not always readily accessible.” Egyptian blue fell out of favor sometime during the Roman period.
Scarab bracelet excavated from the Tomb of Tutankhamun
This scarab bracelet is made of gold, lapis-lazuli, carnelian, turquoise and other semi-precious stones. The small circumference of this bracelet suggests that it was made for Tutankhamun when he was a child. Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.
Paris, Milan, London and America are widely known to be the home and main influencers of modern day fashion. Yet there is another place that also passed on the world’s conception of beauty and fashion across thousands of generations and centuries, and that is ancient Egypt.
Wherever one encounters an ancient settlement site worldwide, there is bound to be remains of jewellery and clothing.
The iconic limestone bust of Nefertiti, showing her clean, smooth and structured facial features, and the imagined portraits of Cleopatra with her dark ‘kohl’ eyeliner and exquisite jewelled collar still symbolises today the main and most iconic expressions of beauty around the world. Read more.
Pectoral scarab from the tomb of Tutankhamun, made of gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian and semi-precious stones depicting scarab (Kheperu), solar disk (Ra) and crescent (Neb) form Tutankhamun’s prenomen (’Nebkheperura’).
Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62). New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1332-1323 BC. Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.