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Faience finger ring

 

Diameter: 1.900 cm

EA 22594

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Faience finger ring

    From Egypt
    18th Dynasty, 1500-1300 BC

    Colourful symbolism

    Until the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC), faience had almost always been produced in a blue-green colour. This ring, however, is mainly composed of a striking yellow faience, which was probably used as a substitute for the more desirable and expensive gold, while the blue and red faience replaces the semi-precious stones lapis lazuli or turquoise and carnelian.

    The colours are also in themselves symbolic, as yellow equates with the flesh of the gods, blue with rebirth and the shimmering of the sun, and red with birth and destruction and with Osiris, the god of the dead.

    F.D. Friedman (ed.), Gifts of the Nile: ancient Egy (London, Thames and Hudson, 1998)

    C.A.R. Andrews, Ancient Egyptian jewellery (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)

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