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EJ1417

An Egyptian Gold & Ball Bead Necklace, Middle Kingdom, XII Dynasty, ca. 1981–1802 B.C.

The Middle Kingdom is known for some of the most beautiful jewelry ever produced in ancient Egypt and this necklace is such an example.  The thirty three fine ball beads constructed from glassy blue faience (a man-made, self-glazing material made from the easily accessible components of quartz, alkali, and lime sourced within Egypt) are of the highest quality and are complemented by twenty two ancient spacer beads of rare electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver, and known to the Egyptians as white gold.   The quality of the faience facilitated its positive association with luminous celestial bodies and the life giving waters of the Nile.  

for related example see:  the bead necklace for  Hapiankhtifi, Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number:  12.183.23, gift of J.P. Morgan, 1912.

Condition:  All beads are intact and in excellent condition overall.  The necklace has been restrung with a modern 18K gold clasp in keeping with ancient design.

Dimensions:  Necklace length:  44.5 cm (17.5  inches)

Provenance:  Private Californian collection, acquired from the trade in the 1960's.

 

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