A rare Egyptian Faience Broad Collar Necklace, Late Old Kingdom, ca. 2345–2181 BCE


The most frequently represented item of jewelry throughout Egyptian history was the broad or weskhet collar, worn by both genders as well as anthropomorphic deities.   At Giza alone, George Reisner found nineteen such collars in tombs of both men and women. In addition, brightly painted broad collars are represented on statuary and reliefs of deities, royalty, and wealthy private individuals from the Old Kingdom through Roman times.

This exceptionally rare collar consists of three rows of densely spaced cylinder beads ranging from pale cream, green, blue and black glazed faience. Strung in an upright position, they are defined by rows of small ring beads, separated by two horizontal spacer elements that run the length of the necklace.  Completing the collar is a bottom row of glazed faience beetle-shaped pendants; individual examples of these beads are very rare and sets from the same collar are quite unique.  Two original end-piece terminals of triangular shape have holes to accommodate the bead rows and a hole at the point allowing the collar to be threaded for tying the around the neck.  

Dimensions:  Height: 9 inches, (22.8 cm) Width: 11.5 inches (29 cm)

Condition:   Outer hole cracked and small loss to adjoining tip on both terminals, the beads are all intact and restrung using conservation quality thread.  All components of this necklace are original, there are no reproduction elements.  An exceptionally rare and superb example!

Provenance:   Old NY collection, thereafter private Swedish collection from mid-1990s, also Ernest Freemark collection, acquired 1913 - 1915 thereafter R. Knickerbocker collection, NY, and by descent.

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