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EA1314

An Egyptian Faience Jewelry Element, Amarna Period, ca. 1353 – 1336 BC

a beautiful blue-green glazed faience jewelry element representing a cornflower, details of the blossom can be seen on the green body, opposite ends tipped in blue, the top with attachment loop. 

In ancient Egypt, reproductions of cornflowers have been found dating back to the first half of the 4th millennium BC (Stone to Bronze Age). As a companion of cereal plants and probably also because of its similar color to the blue lotus, it soon became a symbol of life and fertility. It was even cultivated as a garden plant, portrayed, for instance, on wall friezes, and on wall and floor designs in houses and palaces of the Amarna period (1364–1347 BC). Often flower heads appeared on faience and glazed earthenware, which was also used for pendants of earrings, necklaces, and collars for ladies. 

From the 18th dynasty (from 1552 BC) until the Greco–Roman period, florists used cornflower heads for grave decorations. In the tomb of Tut-ankh-Amun, Howard Carter (in 1922) found wreaths and garlands of cornflowers together with petals of the blue lotus flower on the three coffins. Plants were given to the deceased to accompany him on his way, as an aid for reanimation. The pharaohs, at their funerals, were believed to become one with Osiris, the god of fertility. Osiris had introduced agriculture and, after being murdered by his brother Seth, became the sovereign of the underworld. From the underworld he was repeatedly resurrected in the growing corn, providing a natural link between the cornflower, Osiris, and the force of reanimation.

Condition:Loss of lower loop, otherwise the amulet is intact and in excellent condition overall, in protective display box. 

Dimensions: Amulet Height: 1.6 cm (.62 inch)

Provenance:  Private collection of  Robert J. Molnar, Hillsdale, NJ, acquired in the 1960s.

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