An amulet is a small object that a person believes will magically bestow a particular form of power or protection. Among the treasures of the Metropolitan Museum’s Egyptian collection is a delicate “motto clasp” amulet made of gold, carnelian, and paste, whose shape is the hieroglyph meaning “to encircle. The sign encircles the red center, standing for the sun, so the motto clasp may be read as “that which the sun encircles.” Its owner was Princess Sithathoryunet, who lived during the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2040–1640 B.C.) in the reigns of Senwosret II and Amenemhat III of Dynasty 12. A wonderful example of the artistry of Middle Kingdom jewelers, it was excavated in 1914 from Princess Sithathoryunet’s tomb at Lahun. This rare amulet is the basis for our exquisite ring.
24K gold overlay, hand enameled. 1'' diam.
- 24K gold overlay, hand enameled
- 1'' diam.
Art HistoryThe Museum's collection of ancient Egyptian art contains about twenty-six thousand objects of artistic, historical, and cultural significance, dating from the Paleolithic to the Roman period (ca. 300,000 B.C.–A.D. 4th century). The majority of the collection comes from the Museum's thirty-five years of archaeological work in Egypt, which began in 1906 in response to growing Western interest in the culture of ancient Egypt.