necklace / bead / amulet
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.
- 1470BC-1350BC (circa)
- Found/Acquired: Egypt
- Length: 285 millimetres
- Depth: 22 millimetres
- Weight: 20 grammes
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.
'Egyptian Treasures' [exhibition catalogue] (Shanghai, 1999), 298-299 No 94; 'Gold and Civilisation', Catalogue (Australia, 2001), p.120.
Not on display
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
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
- BS.3081 (Birch Slip Number)
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Object reference number: YCA69174
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