The ancient Egyptians loved jewellery and wore necklaces and collars made from a variety of materials. Gold, silver, precious stones, faience, shells, wood and bone were all used.
Faience beads were commonly used in jewellery for both the living and the dead. Faience is a material that is composed of quartz or sand mixed with various materials and then fired in a kiln. The distinctive turquoise colour of Egyptian faience comes from a copper compound that was frequently added to the mixture, but objects made of faience have been found in almost every colour. These beads were manufactured by moulding the mixture into hollow tubes which were then cut and fired. They could then be carved or inscribed, and woven together to create elaborate pieces of jewellery and adornment that showcased their vibrant colours and intricacies.
Dimensions: 62cm long.
Provenance: Ex. Sheeran Collection, Ormskirk, Lancashire, England. Previously: Egypt Exploration Society excavations at Deir El Bahri under the direction of (mainly) Edouard Naville (see Flinders Petrie) between 1892 and 1907. Purchased at UK auction.