Jessica Woodiwiss: Ancient Egypt Accessories and Decor 

The accessories and décor of ancient Egypt are so fascinating. They were not only beautiful but had great meaning behind the construction of the piece of art. There were symbols of earth that defined something in life. The heart scarab, for example, was used to define new life. Egyptians would also place these amulets in a tomb for the diseased. Their idea was the more they put, the more protection the person in the tomb had. You can see much symbolism engraved in many of the accessories. Some are still unknown of what they say and mean but are still great to see. Many of the accessory pieces such as the necklaces and rings were made of gold. Gold does not corrode, so it gives these art pieces a long life span. I also realized that there were certain kinds of jewelry that only pharaohs wore to signify their power and role, such as the Signet ring. Some necklaces were also worn by people in ancient Egypt. The one shown here in the gallery has gold shells linked together by small gold links. Some pieces look as if they have been broken and worn down but mostly due to how aged they are. The décor such as plates and bowls are beautiful. Some of these plates and bowls were used to hold specific food and drink items, such as wine. The bright colors of the ceramic blue on the wine bowl definitely are eye catching. The colors only make the design on the bowl stand out even more. A girl sitting on a pillow playing the lute gives it a more naturalistic feel. It is also visible to see vines behind her. In the making of the bowl the design is places on before it is fired. The silver dishes have designs of what look like horses in the center. On the outer rim of the dish looks like soldiers riding on the horses. All of these pieces of jewelry and décor items are all works of art. This comes to show us how there is a meaning behind every piece if art work. Whether it symbolize something about life or perhaps just a feeling. It also shows the social status of a person as well. The powerful and the rulers wore specific kinds of jewelry so signify their role in society. The fact dishes that were to be used for food and drink had beautiful artistic designs on them, this shows how important the gathering was to them. The inspiration of real life situations was revealed in their art work. To be able to tell a life story through art work is a great experience. I have come to realize that most ancient Egyptian art has meaning. To learn about ancient Egypt through the art work of people who once lived his fascinating. To be able to link together many different pieces created by different people in that era to create a theory, and assumption, a life story, is pretty amazing. The accessories and décor of ancient Egypt are so fascinating. They were not only beautiful but had great meaning behind the construction of the piece of art. There were symbols of earth that defined something in life. The heart scarab, for example, was used to define new life. Egyptians would also place these amulet in a tomb for the diseased. Their idea was the more they put, the more protection. You can see much symbolism engraved in many of the accessories. Some are still unknown of what they say and mean but are still great to see. Many of the accessory pieces such as the necklaces and rings were made of gold. I also realized that there were certain kinds of jewelry that only pharaohs wore to signify their power and role such as the Signet ring. Some pieces look as if they have been broken but mostly due to how aged they are. The décor such as plates and bowls are beautiful. The bright colors of ceramic blue definitely are eye catching. The colors only make the design on the bowl stand out even more. A girls sitting on a pillow playing the lute. It is also visible to see vines behind her. In the making of the bowl the design is places on before it is fired. The silver dishes have designs of what look like horses in the center. On the outer rim of the dish looks like soldiers riding on the horses. All of these pieces of jewelry and décor items are all works of art. This comes to show us how there is a meaning behind every piece if art work. Whether it symbolize something about life or perhaps just a feeling. I have come to realize that most ancient Egyptian art has meaning.    

-Date: 1490-1436 B.C -Measurements: 8.3 x 5.4 x 133 cm -Color: Gold; Green Jasper This unique heart scarab amulet is a necklace that was once worn by someone of power in Egypt. Some amulets came in a variety of different colors such as red, yellow, brown, green, and sometimes blue (this color came about rarely). It is made of green jasper, which is an impure form of silica. This material breaks down smoothly, which makes it easier for the artist to form the structure they are trying to achieve easier. It also leaves a nice sheen to the piece, which makes the accessory look more appealing. The Egyptians saw the Dung Beetle as a sign of new, everlasting life. Which, as seen in the photo was the inspiration for the amulet piece. This necklace was worn by a pharaoh. It signifies the pharaoh’s high position in society. There are small pieces of gold embracing the amulet piece and a gold braided chain that is attached to it. The braided golf chain makes this amulet more of a jewelry piece and there are also links on both ends of the necklace to connect the necklace. These amulets were also placed in tombs of the deceased. Egyptians had the idea of the more amulets they placed in a person’s tomb, the more protection they will have. On some amulets there were also inscriptions in the back. It would be the belly of the dung beetle where the inscription would be seen. Some of these inscriptions were prayers for their soul.
-Date created: 1400-1300 B.C -Measurements: 4, 5 x 14 cm -Type: Bowl -Made: Faience This is a beautiful Wine bowl that has a more naturalistic feel to it. It displays a female lute player in a more relaxed position. She is sitting on a pillow with a design printed on the pillow itself. There are some vines with leaves present behind her. On the female’s body, there is a tattoo of a god named Bes. Bes was a god that represented music, dance, eroticism, and sexuality. Beside her you can see her little companion, a small monkey. On the rim of the bowl is a visual of small dashes that fallow the edge of the bowl. It is a small but makes the bowl unique. The bowl is made in a deep blue color. The bowl is hand painted and after the artist was finished with their design, it then would get fired to seal everything and protect the piece. After the firing, a nice glaze was applied to the bowl as well. It would then be available to be used for food or drink purposes of their choice. Although, this was considered a wine bowl, it is thought to never have been used as such. For it not being used for a wine bowl, as it was intended to be used, this could be the reason why it was well preserved. This is just a remarkably beautiful piece of art. This bowl is a great display of Egyptian ceramic art.
-Date Created: 800 B.C-700 B.C -Physical Dimension: h23 cm -Type: Dish -Medium: Silver, Gold This plate is made by the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were sailors and wily merchants. They were ones who founded coastal trade settlements all around the Mediterranean and supplied luxury items such as this plate to many countries. Around 700 BC much of the Phoenician merchandise were being created in Cyprus. Etruria also became a very important production cite. Many of the Phoenician art is a mix of Egyptian and Assyrian influences. The combination of the two make for absolutely beautiful artwork. Many of the plates had typical Egyptian scenes, such as this gold plate shown in this photo. This plate shows many scenes of armed horses and chariots. You can also see there are some soldiers with weapons and shields. The fact that this plate was made of gold and silver makes this art piece timeless. It is interesting to see how a moment in time can be captures in a dish such as this one. How a culture could be represented in a piece of art and remembered throughout time. The plate also shows good technical skill and has has a beautiful design. The plate looks as if it has suffered a little ware but overall it has preserved well over the many years.
-Date Creates: 220-100 B.C -Location Created: Alexandria, Egypt -Type: Bead -Medium: Gold -Artist: Unknown This necklace is very interesting accessory piece. The artist who decided to make this piece made it in sometime between 220-100 B.C. The necklace was located in Alexandria, Egypt. The necklace itself was made of gold. The gold shells on the necklace are inspire by cowrie shells. These shells are actually snail shells. They are shaped a little similar to the shape of an egg but are flatter on the underside of them. These gold shells on the necklace are linked together with gold links. The beads are hallow inside but what makes the beautiful shell detail are the lips in the center that make the shapes more shell like. This necklace has a twelve beads that are linked together. The gold loops at each end of the necklace give the impression that there was more to it that just the twelve shells. This necklace is very simplistic in its appearance but still very eye catching and beautiful. Each accessory in Egypt is a work of art and unique in its own way.
-Date Created: ca. 664-404 B.C.E -Type: Accessory, Jewelry -Medium: Gold -Collection: Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near -Eastern Art -Height: 13/16 in, 0.5lb. (2.1cm, 0.2kg) Bezel, -Width: 11/16 x Length 15/16 in (1.8 x 2.5cm) -XXVI Dynasty-XXVII Dynasty -Period: Late Period -Possible Place Collected: Giza, Egypt This gold ring belonged to the “priest of Isis of Cheops”. He was a priest at the temple of Isis at Giza. The ring is oval shaped which makes an interesting shape for a ring. The shape also allows for more room to write or design an inscription on the ring itself. This ring here shows and inscription on the top of the ring but it is not clear to what the meaning of it is. It could possibly just be the name of the priest. It is very fascinating how certain pieces of accessories only the people of power wore. Such as this ring. Certain accessory pieces told people of higher power and authority apart from the others that did not have such authority. The band of this ring is also made of gold and as you can see is very thick. The thickness reminds me of a modern men’s ring. Since it is thick, the ring also gives off a more masculine vibe. I can see how this was considered traditional accessory wear for the people of power.
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