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Artwork of the Day – Gold and carnelian jewellery


Liverpool artwork of the day – Wednesday November 14 2007. Gold and carnelian jewellery, New Kingdom (1567-1085 BC) in World Museum Liverpool

Here you can see two carnelian (an orangey red stone) necklaces with beads in the form of gold ‘hes’ vases and cornflower pendants. Also shown is a gold cloisonné pendant in the shape of a hawk with the remains of faience (coloured glaze) inlay. The ‘hes’ vase pendants resemble the characteristic ancient Egyptian water jar and stand for the hieroglyph for ‘praise’ or ‘favour’.

Jewellery was very popular with both men and women in ancient Egypt. Although it was worn for adornment, like people wear it today, much jewellery had magical significance to protect the wearer from harm. Many took the form of amulets like the ‘wedjat’, or sacred eye of Horus (the god of the Sun), the scarab beetle, small figures of gods and parts of the human body such as the heart, leg or hand.

World Museum