Egyptian Necklace of Red Jasper Hippopotamus God Pendants
Red Jasper, Lapis Lazuli, Amethyst, 20k gold
The necklace is 21 inches (53.5 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 20.6 gm.
A necklace of one hundred 20k gold tube beads with nineteen hard stone amulets. Nine of them are red jasper jar shaped pendant beads. They are 1.8 cm in height and 6mm in width at the widest point. The drill holes are 2mm in diameter. Alternating are a matching set of ten hard stone amulets in the form of the pregnant hippopotamus god Tuwaret. One of the amulets is lapis lazuli, two of them are amethyst and six of them are jasper. The amulets are 1.28 cm in height, 8.4 mm from front to back and 3.9 mm from side to side. The drill hole diameters are 1 mm. The figures are carefully carved and detailed: the arms of the standing hippopotamus can be seen with the hands holding the bulging pregnant belly. Tuwaret is the god that protects pregnant women and women in childbirth. The protection is apotrophaic, that is turning away evil, by means of an image of one of the most frightening and dangerous animals in Egypt (along with the crocodile and the lion with are sometimes joined in one image with the hippopotamus). The symbolism of the vase shape comes from the fact that cosmetic oils and ointments were stored in stone vessels. Cosmetic ointments were used in everyday life and also in important rituals in temples and tombs. Anointing and cosmetic treatment played a role in the preparation of mummies, which were treated with oils, and in the funerary cult-with cult statues and cult objects in temples of gods being treated daily with cosmetic materials and revivifying ointments. The belief in the revivifying effects of the oils and ointments made the vase shape itself a symbol of rebirth and transformation. Stone receptacles filled with oils and ointments also accompany the deceased into the afterlife. They appear frequently in burial sites including royal ones as evidenced by the numerous stone cosmetic vases discovered in the Eighteenth Dynasty tomb of Tutankhamun. The amulets are said to be from the Late Period, from 600 B.C. to 300 B. C. The gold tubes, beading tips and hook and eye clasp are all 20k gold.