Faience finger ring

British Museum

British Museum

Until the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC), faience had almost always been produced in a blue-green colour. This ring, however, is mainly composed of a striking yellow faience, which was probably used as a substitute for the more desirable and expensive gold, while the blue and red faience replaces the semi-precious stones lapis lazuli or turquoise and carnelian.The colours are also in themselves symbolic, as yellow equates with the flesh of the gods, blue with rebirth and the shimmering of the sun, and red with birth and destruction and with Osiris, the god of the dead.

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  • Title: Faience finger ring
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 1.90cm; Height: 1.30cm (bezel); Height: 0.50cm (shank)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: glazed; inlaid
  • Registration number: 1889,0525.39
  • Place: Found/Acquired Egypt
  • Period/culture: 18th Dynasty
  • Material: glazed composition
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum