What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by

Searching...

ornament / jewellery

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA54460

  • Description

    An inlaid ornament composed of a winged scarab holding a sun's disc in its forefeet and a 'kha'-sign in its back feet, made from electrum inlaid with cornelian, lapis lazuli and green feldspar. The 'kha'-sign is flanked by papyrus umbels whose wire stems surround and unite the three symbols. The design represents the prenomen of Senusret II, Kha-kheper-Re.
    The head of the scarab is inlaid with lapis lazuli, its back with green feldspar and its wing-cases with lapis lazuli. Only four legs are represented, made from flat wire soldered to the underside of the body. The forelegs are notched; they hold the circular cloison of the sun's disc which is inlaid with cornelian. The back legs rest on the 'kha'-sign which is inlaid with cornelian below and green feldspar above. The papyrus heads flank the 'kha'-sign. They are inlaid with green feldspar and are framed by two pieces of wire curving around underneath but not reaching as far as the ends of the heads of the flowers. The wire is soldered to the legs and the body.
    The wings, wider at the base and pointed at the ends, are filled with strips of coloured stones arranged side by side, not in cloisons. At the base of the wing is a shaped piece of cornelian fitting the point which joins the body; next comes a bar of green feldspar (missing on the left side and replaced by a green-painted inlay). Then come strips of lapis lazuli, carnelian and green felspar, with lapis lazuli in one wing-tip and dark-blue glazed composition in the other. These inlays are held in place by a brownish glue or cement.
    The cloisons were probably made all in one, folded up in a mould, and not from single pieces of metal soldered together to form a box. Tubes are soldered to the underside of the wings at a slight angle following the line of the wings; they are notched with three lines to represent separate rings. They could have been used for sewing the piece on to a cloth or for a suspension wire or thread. The reverse is not decorated, and smooth except for the body of the scarab which has grooves across it imitating the underside of a beetle.

    More 

  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1897BC-1878BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 3.5 centimetres (wing span)
    • Length: 1.5 centimetres (wing length)
    • Height: 1.8 centimetres (total height)
  • Curator's comments

    This ornament is very similar to one found in 1912-13 at el-Riqqa in tomb a L24 (see R. Engelbach, ‘Riqqeh and Memphis’ VI (London, 1915), pl. I, 1 = Manchester University Museum 5967), which consists of a winged scarab, its head missing, with the 'kha'-sign below and lotus flowers under the wings. It could almost be a companion piece. Engelbach (R. Engelbach, 'Harageh' (London, 1923), 15; pl. XV, 2: parts of a silver pectoral, much corroded, consisting of a cartouche containing the signs 'kheper', 'kha' and 'Re', from tomb 124 = St. Louis Missouri E 9064.1 (?)) was of the opinion that jewellery from a tomb at el-Haraga (tomb 124) and that of tomb A 124 might be from the same hand.

    Cf. Kha-kheper-Re in pectorals: J. de Morgan, ‘Fouilles à Dahchour, Mars-Juin, 1894’ (Vienna, 1895), pls. XV, XVI, XXI, no. 1 = C. Aldred, ‘Jewels of the Pharaohs’ (London, 1971), pl. 33 = A. Wilkinson, 'Ancient Egyptian Jewellery' (London, 1971), pl. XVIIA, B: gold with inlays of lapis lazuli, cornelian and turquoise from Sit-Hathor's treasure at Dahshur = E. Vernier, ‘Bijoux et orfèvreries. Catalogue général des antiquities égyptiennes du Musée dr Caire’ (Cairo, 1927), 52001; and G. Brunton, ‘Lahun, I, The Treasure’ (London, 1920), pls. V, VII, A, B = C. Aldred, ‘Jewels of the Pharaohs’ (London, 1971), pl.37 = A. Wilkinson, 'Ancient Egyptian Jewellery' (London, 1971), pls. I, XVI: gold with inlays of lapis lazuli, cornelian and turquoise, from the treasure of Sit-Hathor-lunet at Illahun = New York, MMA 16.1.3.

    Bibliography:
    E. A. Wallis Budge 'A Guide to the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Egyptian Rooms, and the Coptic Room' (London, 1922), 96, no. 668:
    A. Wilkinson, 'Ancient Egyptian Jewellery' (London, 1971), 90;
    The British Museum, 'Jewellery through 7000 years' [exhibition catalogue] (London, 1976), no. 23;
    I. Shaw and P. Nicholson, 'British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (London, 1995), p.144;
    R. Parkinson, ‘ Cracking Codes: The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment’ (London, 1999), cat 29;
    N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, p. 97.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Andrews 1990 113a bibliographic details
    • Parkinson 1999 29 bibliographic details
    • Andrews 1981 554 bibliographic details
    • Strudwick 2006 p.97 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2011 Jul–Sept, Newcastle, Great North Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Oct–Jan, Dorchester, Dorset County Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Feb–June, Leeds City Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Jul-Oct, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Nov– Feb 2013, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2013 Mar–Aug, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery , Pharaoh: King of Egypt

    [Theme: Royal Regalia & Titles]
    2013, 25 Oct- 2014, 15 Feb, Wuhan, Hubei Provincial Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt, PROMISED

  • Condition

    good

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    22 July 1981

    Treatment proposal

    Delacquer and clean.

    Condition

    Lacquered. One piece of inlay made of painted perspex (?). Gold tarnished, copper corrosion.

    Treatment details

    Whole swabbed with acetone. Gold swabbed with 30% v/v formic acid. Wiped with Goddard's Long Term Silver Cloth.

    About these records 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1919

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA54460

  • Registration number

    1919,0208.119

COMPASS Title: Scarab pendant

Unknown

COMPASS Title: Scarab pendant

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: YCA69237

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...