Egyptian Hyksos Period Swivel Ring


An ancient Egyptian bronze swivel ring set with a steatite scarab from the Hyksos period. The anatomy of the scarab is delicately engraved and features a double-lined elytra, and prothorax, a small head, and large rounded clypeus with linear details and feathered tip, Delicately feathered legs wrap around the circumference of the base. The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension upon metal wire, which was curled around a plain, bronze, rounded band. On the left-hand side of the scarab is a daintily incised lily hieroglyph, which may have been a later addition. The reverse of the scarab features an assortment of hieroglyphs with apotropaic qualities. These include the falcon, which represents Horus, the flying sun, the ‘Ka’ symbol, and a representation of the horizon, amongst others. To either side of the falcon is the Deshret crown, which is symbolic of lower Egypt where the kingdom of the Hyksos was predominantly located.

Swivel rings could have a practical function, the scarab used as a personal seal, or they could simply be decorative and worn for their apotropaic status.

Date: Circa 1750–1550 BC
Period: Hyksos Period, 15th - 17th Dynasty
Provenance: From a Private Dorset collection, 1980s-1990s.
Condition: Excellent condition. There is some patination and encrustation over the metal band. The scarab is still attached but has become dislodged at the lower end and thus can no longer swivel. The surface of the scarab is in excellent condition with all the details clearly legible. There are some fine linear cracks to surface of the scarab, and some discolouration consistent with age.


SKU: MJ-32 Category: Tags: , , ,

The scarab beetle was an exceedingly popular symbol in the art of Ancient Egypt, thought to represent the sun god, Ra. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the scarab beetle rolling its ball of dung across the desert mirrored the journey of the sun across the sky from day to night. As the beetle laid its eggs within the dung, it became a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

The term ‘Hyksos’ can be traced back to the Egyptian expression ‘heka khasewet’, which means, “rulers of foreign lands”. The Hyksos of the fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt, ruling during the Second Intermediate Period, were thus of non-Egyptian origin, probably Canaanite. The Hyksos Kingdom was centred in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt. It was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, and it had Memphis as its capital. Hyksos scarabs often feature hieroglyphs with no specific translation, but are an amalgamation of apotropaic and culturally important signs.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.

Weight 7.1 g
Dimensions L 4.0 x W 3.3 x H 0.9 cm

Egyptian Mythology




Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 35.3.52

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