Collection online

necklace / bead / amulet

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA3081

  • Description

    Necklace of lizard amulets, pendants and beads: the nineteen hollow gold lizards were formed in a mould with added back plate. The hollow gold drop shaped pendants, possibly meant to be dates, were made in the same way but have a loop soldered at top and bottom so were originally strung between two rows of beads, not as now. The central drop is inlaid with lapis lazuli. The barrel beads are made from cornelian, as is the single poppy seed pod pendant at one end of the string.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1470BC-1350BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 285 millimetres
    • Depth: 22 millimetres
    • Weight: 20 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    The lizard, noted for its love of sunshine, was considered the animal manifestation of the sun god Atum. However, it was also symbolic of regeneration because of its ability to regrow limbs and tail if they were injured or lost. In this context, it was placed on a par with the snake which sloughed its skin to pass into a new life. That is why both creatures are grasped by underworld deities in scenes on coffins and funerary papyri of later New Kingdom date.

    Bibliography:
    'Egyptian Treasures' [exhibition catalogue] (Shanghai, 1999), 298-299 No 94; 'Gold and Civilisation', Catalogue (Australia, 2001), p.120.

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  • Bibliography

    • Andrews 1990 160b bibliographic details
    • Andrews 1994 fig. 48 bibliographic details
    • Andrews 2000 p.234-235 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.31
    1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.31
    1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.72
    1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.72
    1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.72
    2006 6 Oct-2007 18 Feb, Tokyo National Museum, Mummy: The Inside Story
    2007 17 Mar-17 Jun, Kobe City Museum, Mummy: The Inside Story
    2012 July - September, Tokyo, Mori museum, The Book of the Dead: Journey Through the Afterlife
    2012, October - November, Fukuoka Museum of Art, The Book of the Dead
    2013, May - September, Perth, Western Australian Museum, The Book of the Dead

  • Condition

    good

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1839

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA3081

  • Registration number

    1839,0921.937

  • Additional IDs

    • BS.3081 (Birch Slip Number)
COMPASS Title: Three strings of amulets in gold and semi-precious stones

Unknown

COMPASS Title: Three strings of amulets in gold and semi-precious stones

Image description

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Object reference number: YCA69174

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