Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom to Late Dynastic Period, 18th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 1549 to 332 BCE. A fabulous necklace composed of seven faience scarab pendants and six faience djed pillar pendants, strung on a modern 21K gold necklace. Most of the scarabs are charms, with abstract symbols carved into their flat undersides; this includes one featuring bowls and ostrich feathers, another with an ankh at its center, and one with a rope symbol. Four others have hieroglyphs. The Djed Pillar was commonly placed as an amulet near the spine of a mummy, and is listed in the Book of the Dead as part of a spell which can be used to reanimate the use of the mummy's spine so that it can sit up, resurrected. It is associated with Osiris, representing his spine, and is one of the oldest symbols in Egyptian mythology. All of the scarabs are made from an opaque white faience, while the djed pillars are pale blue faience. A wonderful example of ancient art meets modern fashion! Size of all scarabs (approximately): 0.75" W (1.9 cm); length of chain: 17.5" L (44.4 cm)
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Lady Chelsea Hamlyn collection, London, UK, acquired in 1980
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All faience components are ancient; chain is modern. Light wear on the faience components commensurate with age including some small chips and nicks but all are in very good condition aside from one, which is missing a lower corner.