Gold hoop-shaped earring

From Egypt
New Kingdom, 1475-1180 BC

Fashionable for men and women

This earring is made of a grooved strip of gold, curved into a loop. On one side of the open ends is an extension that passed through the pierced earlobe, catching on the projection on the other side. The exterior of the earring is decorated with gold braid, which was originally inlaid into each of the grooves, but much of which is now lost. The use of inlays of gold, precious stones or glass was very common in earrings and other jewellery of the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC).

Pierced ears were fashionable for both men and women during the New Kingdom. Several pairs of elaborate earrings were found in the intact tomb of Tutankhamun. Earrings were made in many shapes and of many types of material. Wall paintings in the tomb of Nebamun show women wearing large gold earrings. These were elements of their best attire, worn on special occasions. Such adornments are not restricted to the wealthy guests at the banquet, but are also part of the elaborate dress of the singers, musicians and dancers.

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More information

Bibliography

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

Dimensions

Diameter: 4.370 cm
Weight: 1.300 g

Museum number

EA 54315

YCA45323

Gift of Viscount Crookshank

Location

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