- Museum number
Oyster-shell amulet: made from thin sheet gold beaten over a mould and inscribed with the name Senusret in a cartouche. The inside is strongly concave. The ring at the top has broken away and been carelessly resoldered.
- Production date
- 1985BC-1785BC (circa)
Height: 5 centimetres (with ring)
Weight: 0.004 kilograms
Width: 4.50 centimetres
Depth: 1 centimetres
- Inscription subject
- Curator's comments
There are orthographic peculiarities in the inscription which throw doubt on its authenticity: however, this does not invalidate the authenticity of the shell itself, since uninscribed oyster-shells are common as amulets during the Middle Kingdom. Natural oyster-shells inscribed with royal names may have been a military decoration (see Winlock in 'Griffith Studies' (London, 1932), 388-91). The shell represented is probably 'Avicula (Meleagrina) margaritacea' (see H. E. Winlock, ‘The Treasure of Three Egyptian Princesses’ (New York, 1948), 25, n. 33: Petrie's 'Meleagrina margaritifera', see W. M. F. Petrie, ‘Amulets’ (London, 1914), 27, no. 112).
Egypt Exploration Society, ‘Catalogue of the Egypt Exploration Society’s Exhibition of the Results of the Recent Excavations at Armana and Armant and of a Loan Exhibition of Egyptian jewellery. Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, 8th September – 3rd October, 1931’ (London, 1931), no. 72;
E. Russmann, 'Eternal Egypt : masterworks of ancient art from the British Museum' , (New York, 2001), 109 No. 33;
The British Museum, 'Jewellery through 7000 years' [exhibition catalogue] (London, 1976), no. 25.
The Mond Bequest is reported in 'British Museum Quarterly' 13-14 (1939-40) but no mention is made of this particular piece.
Temples and Tombs (American Federation of Arts, 2006): 68, cat no. 24
Egyptian gold shell pendant
The pendant is probably ancient. However, its interest lies in the rather crudely engraved cartouche, purporting to be of the 12th dynasty (early second millennium BC). Microscopic examination clearly shows that the lines were created by engraving, a technique not in use at this date. Thus the inscription cannot be of the date ascribed to it. This view is reinforced by the crispness of the engraved line compared to the rest of the pendant, also suggesting the cartouche is much more recent.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2006 7 Sept-26 Nov, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
2006 21 Dec-2007 18 Mar, Jackonsville, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Temples & Tombs
2007 15 Apr-8 Jul, Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
2007 16 Nov-2008 10 Feb, New Mexico, Albuquerque Museum, Temples & Tombs
2016 8 Mar-12 Jun, Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2018 7 Jun-16 Sep, Barcelona, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2018-2019 16 Oct-20 Jan, Madrid, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2019 19 Feb-25 Aug, Girona, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2019-2020 24 Sept-12 Jan, Seville, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number