Gold bangle with gold and silver amulets

From Egypt
Middle Kingdom, 1991-1785 BC

Protective animals, eyes and fingers

This bangle is made of two bands of beaten gold separated by alternating gold and silver amulets. It is very unusual; few like it have been found, and none of the same date. The amulets provided the wearer with the protection of the symbol or deity they represent. They include various animal figures: turtle, hare, snake, baboon and falcon, and symbols: ankh, wedjat eye, djed pillar, Bat emblem and two-finger amulet.

The turtle symbolized evil, but was rendered harmless by being depicted immobilized. The hare, noted for its fertility, also survived in the inhospitable desert, death's realm, and therefore came to symbolize life. The snake, in sloughing its skin, represented new life. The baboon, herald of the rising sun, was also a manifestation of Thoth. The ankh was the hieroglyph for 'life'. The wedjat was the powerfully protective healed eye of the falcon-god Horus. The djed pillar was the hieroglyph for 'stability'. The Bat emblem was the face of the protective cow-eared goddess. The two-finger amulets may represent the fingers of the embalmer, giving extra protection.

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More information


G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)

C.A.R. Andrews, Catalogue of Egyptian antiqu-5 (London, The British Museum Press, 1981)

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


Diameter: 8.000 cm (exterior)

Museum number

EA 24787


Acquired in 1891


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