Egyptian Black Stone Cat Pendant with Carnelian Beads and Gold
Carnelian, 20k gold
The necklace is 24 inches (61 cm) in length. The necklace weighs 51 gm.
A necklace of forty-six ancient Egyptian carnelian beads with one hundred thirty-eight 20k gold beads and a black stone depiction of Bastet, the cat goddess of Bubastis. A 20k gold clasp and beading tips completes the necklace. The cat is 3.5 cm tall, the base is 1.15 cm wide and 2.3 cm. deep. There is a half circular protrusion on the back with a hole for suspension on a cord. The carnelian beads are oblate spheres, that graduate in size to the back of the necklace. The largest is 5 mm in length and 7 mm in width with a drill hole diameter of 3.2 mm. The smallest of these beads is 3 mm in length and 3.5 mm in width. The drill hole diameter is 2 mm. The drill holes are large and do not meet in the middle of the bead but are drilled straight through. These are the characteristics that indicated the beads were made in ancient Egypt. The gold beads are strung in a module that alternates with the carnelian beads. This module consists of a round bead faced on either side by a granulated ring bead. This bead is composed of a stack of two rings made from six grains fused together, with the stack aligned and fused to make a bead. The round beads graduate in size to follow the size of the carnelian beads. The largest gold round bead is 5 mm in diameter. The smallest is 4 mm. The beading tips and clasp are also 20k gold. The necklace is impressive because of the large cat pendent, but equally impressive is the strand of ancient carnelian beads on which it is suspended, which are very scarce. The cat has a regal and imposing presence. The pendant is a depiction of the goddess Bast, or Bastet. Originally, this was a lioness who protected the pharaoh, but over time the two aspects of the goddess were separated onto a fierce form, Sekhmet, and a more benevolent and nurturing form, Bast.