Egyptian Classical  Antiquities and Ancient Art by Galleria Delvecchio

Ancient Egyptian Cowroid Bead with âAnkh' Symbol

Ancient Egyptian Cowroid Bead with ‘Ankh' Symbol

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Egyptian: Faience: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1214257

Please refer to our stock # GD-546 when inquiring.
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Ancient Egyptian Cowroid bead with ‘ankh' symbol

Measurement: 1.6 x 1.1 x .4 cm

Material/colour: grey-cream steatite with traces of blue glaze.

Technique: stone carving, incised with interior detail; pierced lengthwise. The inscription is encircled by a single line.

Condition: chips at both ends where cowroid was pierced, also chipped on inscribed surface.

Date: Eighteenth to Twenty-fifth Dynasty c. 1473-656 bce

Provenance: Golden Chariot; original collection of Gustav Jecquier, reportedly from Sakkara.

Identification and Interpretation: Edge of the cowroid is detailed with a band of small hatches; back is marked by a double line. A curved line defines each end. Reverse: Central image is an ‘ankh, for life, surrounded by four neb signs, meaning ‘all’ or ‘possessor of.’ The bead grants its owner all the powers of life. The cowroid shape itself promotes fertility.

Workmanship: clear carving of details of cowrie edge and of glyphs.

Function and Meaning: funerary, or amuletic to be worn in life.

Parallels: see Teeter, # 189, 190, 191 for single ‘ankh’ encircled by single line on scarabs; # 157 for simple glyph with neb signs on a cowroid.