Ancient Egypt, Late Dynastic period, ca. 712 to 332 BCE. A wearable necklace composed of ancient Egyptian carnelian and jasper seed beads and seven carnelian amulets. Six of these amulets are in the form of shells; the seventh is triangular. The carnelian beads contrast beautifully with the pale yellow jasper, creating a warm color palette for the necklace overall. The shell amulets are beautifully shaped, with tiny lines on one side and a round body. Egyptian women wore shell amulets during pregnancy and childbirth for protection against miscarriage or other bad outcomes. The shape of the shell was thought to mirror the shape of a pregnant stomach. Length of cord: 14.5" L (36.8 cm); size of amulet (they are all the same size): 0.4" W (1 cm)
Provenance: ex-private Elliot collection, acquired on the London art market
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