Ancient Egyptian Carnelian Double Frog Pendant and Carnelians with Gold
Carnelian, 20k gold
The necklace is 16 inches (40.6 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 10 gm.
A necklace of sixty-two 20k gold tube beads with six cylindrical carnelian beads and a carnelian frog bead suspended from the apex of the necklace. The frog is 1.8cm in length and 7.2 mm in width at the knees where the legs are folded back upon themselves. The drill hole is 1.75mm in diameter. The frog is actually two frogs belly to belly with the drilled hole emerging from beneath the chins of the two heads and from between the feet at the bottom. There is a small gold granule at the bottom of the frog with a very small loop soldered at the top into which the string attaches and passes through the perforation running lengthwise through the frog's body. The knot and loop are hidden in the drill hole. There is a 3mm 20k gold bicone bead which fits into the notch formed by the two chins bending upwards and away from each other. Above this is a 20k gold granulated ring bead above which sits a small carnelian bead. The tube into which the strand connects has a perforation in one side through which the string passes downward into the frog. This perforation has another granulated gold bead soldered to it, so that the small carnelian bead is faced with two granulated ring beads. As similar arrangement at the back of the necklace makes the transition from the gold tubes to the beading tip and clasp. A small carnelian bead is placed between a granulated ring bead and the beading tip. These beads are 3mm in width and 2mm in length with drill holes of 1.5mm. The 20k gold tube beads are 5mm in length and 2mm in width. The gold has been chemically treated to produce a matte patina. The six carnelian beads are straight cylinders from 7mm in length to 8.5mm. The shorter ones are thickest, 3.75mm and the longer one are thinner, at 3mm in width. The drill holes are 1.25mm – 1.5mm in diameter. The drill holes are one straight bore from end to end, unlike the Near Eastern style of drilling where two holes are drilled from each end and meet in the center of the bead. The carnelian beads are straight cylinders with no taper to them. The frog is finely detailed with the folded back legs precisely defined and the bulging eyes protruding from the top of the head. The life cycle of the frog is a story of transformation, with the tadpole swimming in the water and then changing form to emerge onto the land. The tadpoles seem to appear overnight in great numbers as if from nowhere. Then they mysteriously transform into frogs. These symbolic associations of the frog made it a talisman of abundance, bounty and magical transformation. The hieroglyph for the numeral 100,000 was represented by a frog. Frogs appear suddenly following the first rains of spring in great numbers and are therefore harbingers of growth and fertility. The transformational nature of their life cycle, from egg to tadpole to frog is also notable. They begin life in the water, later transitioning to land, all of which is symbolically important. Humans also make this transition at birth leaving the watery world of the womb and being born onto the land. This association accounts for the linking of the symbol of the frog to the uterus.