An Egyptian Red Jasper Sweret Bead Pendant, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2040 - 1783 BCE
This primitive jewel survived in the barrel-shaped red jasper sweret-bead, becoming part of the essential personal adornments for funerary rituals during the Middle Kingdom. Hung around the neck or on the breast of the deceased, such beads were initially worn singularly on a cord tied closely to the throat or flanked either end by a round or cylindrical bead. This example, carved from fine red jasper - considered the "par excellence" of all red stones by the ancient Egyptians and linked with energy, dynamism, power, and even life itself - has been restrung on a modern 18-inch (45 cm) adjustable chain of 18K white gold.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Pendant width: 7/8 inch (2.01 cm), restrung on a modern 18-inch (45 cm) adjustable chain of 18K white gold (can be substituted for yellow gold upon request).
Provenance: Private collection of Lady Gloria Dale (1922 - 2013 ), Lady Gloria Dale, artist, British crafts patron, and wife of the late Sir William Dale, a leading British Commonwealth lawyer and instructor in legislative drafting and international law. Lady Dale began a crafts career in her late 20s in Washington DC where she first made award-winning, artist-designed hand-tufted rugs that were exhibited in America (including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City), Italy and England during the 1960s. After she and Sir William returned to London from eight years of living in Beirut Lebanon in the early 1970s, she began to design jewelry using ancient beads she collected throughout the Middle East. She later donated a collection of those beads to the British Museum.
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