Egyptian Turquoise Faience Necklace with Carnelian Shell Amulet


A beautiful Ancient Egyptian restrung necklace consisting of faience beads in different shapes and colours. Turquoise tubular beads alternate intersected with small red faience disc beads. At its centre, a vibrant red carnelian cockle shell (Cardium edule shell) amulet hangs, as a further decorative element. The shell amulet is decorated to the front with a series of inscribed linear grooves, depicting the surface of the shell. The back remains plain but slightly indented. The necklace is finished with a small gold plated clasp (please be aware that the clasp has not been professionally tied).


Date: Circa 1550 - 1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom
Provenance: Early 20th century A.B. collection
Condition: Excellent condition.


SKU: AH-972 Category:

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. The colours had different symbolisms for example, blue was thought to reflect fertility and life. Faience was manufactured into amulets and jewellery, the substance was used to create scarabs, furniture and cups.

Flanders Petrie suggests that shell amulets were used to protect against the evil eye and associated superstitions. Cockle amulets and cowrie shell amulets were popular from the Middle Kingdom and large examples of bejewelled mother of pearl oyster shells, worn as amulets, exist. These have also been linked to a military association although this isn’t conclusive.

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

Weight 4.8 g
Dimensions L 46.5 cm




Semi-Precious Stones

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