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ID number:  ECM 38
Named collection:  The Eton Myers Collection
Title / Object name:  Faience Sherd
Object type:  Vessel
Culture:  Egyptian
Collector:  Myers, William Joseph
Materials:  Faience
Measurements:  overall: 3.48 cm x 1.97 cm x 1.13 cm (H x W x D)
Provenance:  Middle Eg.(?): el-Amarna(?).

Fragment from the shoulder of a faience vessel, white ground with green and blue cornflowers in relief

Bibliography:  Aldred, C. 1971. Jewels of the Pharaohs: Egyptian Jewellery of the Dynastic Period. London.

Davies, N.G. 1933. The Tomb of Neferhotep at Thebes Vol. 1. New York.

Kantor, H. J. 1945. Plant Ornament: Its Origin and Development in The Ancient Near East. Chicago.

Notes:  Cornflowers feature in Egyptian jewellery such as earrings, pendants, and in floral decoration on broad collars, particularly in the 18th Dynasty. Floral collars, such as those found in Tutankhamun’s embalming cache, would have been worn by guests to the funeral banquet and then ceremonially buried (Aldred 1971: 226-227). Examples of preserved floral collars from Tutankhamun’s tomb featuring cornflowers can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection:

Typically these collars included faience beads which were sewn on, and mass-produced into various shapes of an array of other flowers and plants including lotus petals, poppy petals and mandrake fruits (Aldred 1971: 231). On faience vessels, painted floral and fauna decoration was not only visually striking, but may also have connected to themes of beauty, fertility and abundance, a richness of resources that Egypt was blessed with through the inundation of the Nile. Flower and petal friezes are also found in Egyptian tombs as a popular form of decoration, and the use of garland designs became increasingly popular during and after the Amarna period (see for instance the Theban tomb of Neferhotep (Davies 1933: 49, plates LI, LIV).

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Myers, William Joseph
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