Pendant on a chain

Egyptian
Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21–24
1070–712 B.C.


Dimensions

height x width pendant 7.1 x 2.5 cm (2 13/16 x 1 in.). Length chain (doubled) 30 cm (11 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

68.836

Medium or Technique

Gold with glass inlays

On View

Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery (Gallery 210)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Pendants

According to Egyptian mythology, the young sun god was borne up out of the primordial waters of chaos inside a blue lotus flower, which opened to reveal him on the first morning. The artist of this fine pendant characterized the god’s tender age with the sidelock of youth. He is seated with knees drawn up as in a hieroglyph. The tiny uraeus on his brow proclaims him as royalty, illustrating the link between the king and the young sun god. Although the figure appears to be on top of a lotus blossom, we are meant to understand him as being inside the flower, in the same way as the contents of an open bowl in Egyptian art can be drawn standing up on its edge. Although the jewel was previously dated to the reign of Ramesses II, the closest parallels date to the Third Intermediate Period, when the motif of child god on the lotus enjoyed a great vogue.

Provenance

By 1964, with Spink and Sons, London (said by them to have been acquired from Borchardt and to have come from Abu Gurob), purchased by Horace L. Mayer; 1964, purchased by Horace L. Mayer and lent to the MFA; 1968, yar-end gift of Mrs. Mayer in memory of Horace L. Mayer to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 27, 1968)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Horace L. Mayer