Faiance beads "Tjehenet"

195 €

Ancient Egypt, The New Kingdom c. 1550 BC, Egypt, private collection from Netherlands.

The New Kingdom (called also Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the sixteenth century BC and the eleventh century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power. Possibly as a result of the foreign rule of the Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom saw Egypt expand in the Levant, and during this time Egypt attained its greatest territorial extent. Similarly, in response to seventeenth-century BC attacks / raids during the Second Intermediate Period by the Kushites, the rulers of the New Kingdom felt compelled to expand far south into Nubia and to hold wide territories in the Near East.

Most ancient Egyptians owned at least one necklace. The simplest examples were made of tiny beads of shell, bone, faiance, metal, or glazed steatite. More complex versions hade beads in form of amulets, including uraeus-cobras, wedjat-eyes (the eye of the falcon-god Horus), scarabs (charms in the form of beetles), or images of gods such as Hathor. Egyptian faiance (tjehenet) was the first man-made non-clay ceramic, with examples of this material dating back to the Pre-Dynastic period, before the unified state of Egypt existed. In ancient Egypt, object created with faiance were considered magical, filled with undying shimmer of the sun, and imbued with the powers of rebirth. Faiance is made of quartz or sand (silica) mixed with alkaline salts, lime, and metallic colorants. Egyptian faiance comes in a variety of different colours, possibly intended to imitate precious stones, but the most common colour is a blue or blueish green that is visually very similar to turquoise. Two common colorants are copper (turquoise) and cobalt (blue). These faiance beads were typically part of elaborate and colorful necklaces worn by Egyptian commoners and nobility alike.

Absolutely gorgeous strand of small-sized faiance beads. Colour varies from light turquoise and white to pale blue. Good condition. Age-related wear. Minor cracks and abrasion. Strand of beads are approx 41,6cm and there are 190 unique beads. Cotton string are modern manufacturing. Individual bead size c. 0,2 to 0,4cm. Beads collected in the early 20th century and from old Dutch collection.

References, citations and sources:

Egyptian Faiance: Technology and Production, Carolyn Riccardelli, Department of Objects Conservation, December 2017, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Ancient Technology: Faiance Beads in the Garstang Museum, Garstang Museum of Archaeology

Gifts of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Faiance, Friedman, Florence Dunn, Thames and Hudson, London, 1998.

Brooklyn Museum.