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An Egyptian Ball Bead & Pendant Necklace, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2017 BCE

EJ1728

The Middle Kingdom is known for some of the most beautiful jewelry ever produced in ancient Egypt and this necklace is such an example.  It comprises sixty exceptional ball beads constructed from glossy black faience that alternate with vivid blue faience ring beads. The quality of the faience facilitates its positive association with luminous celestial bodies and the life-giving waters of the Nile.   A hematite pendant jewel of deep black stone completes the ensemble. 

Notes:  Ball beads were very popular during the Middle Kingdom for, as Bourriau observed, “Like anhydrite and amethyst, they are one of the hallmarks of the period which the excavator of any Middle Kingdom site expects to find”.    

Dimensions: Pendant length: 5 cm (2 inches) Necklace length: 45.5 cm (18 inches)

Condition: Re-strung, all beads are intact and in very good to excellent condition overall.  Pendant with signs of wear and abrasion that does not detract.

Provenance: Art gallery, Rotterdam 1970, thereafter private Dutch collection.


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