Egyptian Faience Bead Scarab Bracelet


An elegant restrung bracelet of Ancient Egyptian faience beads. The design depicts a winged scarab, a motif typically seen on mummy masks from the period. White disc beads outline the body along with the elytra, prothorax and head. The eyes are detailed with two red beads each and the body and wings are comprised of a beautiful turquoise. The tips of the wings lead to the white bead wrist band. The piece is finished with a modern silver clasp (please be aware the clasp has not been professionally tied).

Length measured when opened.

Date: Circa 664-332 BC
Period: Late Dynastic Period
Condition: Very Good Condition


SKU: MJ-51 Category: Tags: ,

Faience is a glazed ceramic known for producing bright colours, especially blues, turquoises and greens. It is produced from quartz or sand crystals mixed with other compounds, finished with a vitreous alkaline glaze to the surface. Faience glimmers in the light and was believed by the Egyptians to represent rebirth and immortality. During the Predynastic period only green and blue faience occurred, however from the Old Kingdom and onwards alternative colours such as black, yellow and red were added to the palette. It was used to create a wide range of items, from beads and amulets, to bowls and cups, due to its mass production. It was used to frequently imitate more expensive materials, for example turquoise faience to semi-precious turquoise. The idea in doing so meant that the apotropaic values associated with a particular colour were still represented by the imitating faience. The values were not necessarily connected to the material alone. Faience mummy masks, consisting of strung beads, were typical of the Late period. The mask itself would be part of a shroud, linked to a winged scarab (as seen here) and four sons of Horus.

To find out more about the use of faience in Ancient Egyptian culture please see our other relevant blog post: What is Egyptian Faience?

Weight 6.7 g
Dimensions L 21.5 cm


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Reference: For similar: Bonhams Auction House, London, Antiquities, 28th April 2010, lot 85

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