Although found in considerable quantities by the ancient Egyptians in both the Eastern Desert and Nubia, carnelian was deemed sufficiently valuable to be mentioned in records alongside turquoise, silver, and lapis lazuli. Symbolically carnelian reflects the curious dichotomy which the Egyptians felt to be embodied in the color red; not only connected with blood and hence energy, dynamism, and power, but was also linked with the god Seth, patron of disorder, storms, and aridity. Fine biconical beads of amethyst and carnelian, such as this example, were are one of the characteristics of the Middle Kingdom and are not known again until a similar style was reintroduced during Roman times.
Condition: The carnelian is intact and in excellent condition overall. Strung as a pendant on a modern 20" sterling silver box chain for wearing.
Dimensions: Diameter: 1/2 inch (1.2 cm). Strung as a pendant on a modern 20" sterling silver box chain for wearing.
Provenance: Lenman/Stohlman collection assembled by the Washington D.C. socialite Miss Isobel H. Lenman (1845 - 1931), in the early 1900s on loan to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., between 1916 and 1921 and then by descent.
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