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Scarab Beetle Pendant

In Fine Jewelry > Pendants > Show & Tell and Costume Jewelry > Egyptian Revival Jewelry > Show & Tell.
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    Posted 10 years ago

    (49 items)

    I found this scarab pendant in a huge collection of jewelry that once belonged to a well-traveled art teacher in Cat Spring, Texas. The scarab has its wings outstretched and holds a small round stone between its two arms. It's about 1.5 " long. I am fairly sure it's silver, though there is no numbered marking, but have no idea what the blue stone might be.

    The scarab was often used as a type of amulet or talisman in Egyptian iconography, important for symbolizing Khepri, a sun god who was associated with resurrection and new life. I think scarabs were important for various funeral rites, possibly making this a kind of pre-Victorian mourning symbol...though I doubt this actual pendant is that old.

    On the back, inset into the beetle's body there is what appears to be a hieroglyphic marking (partially obscured by a metal loop for the chain). From what I can make out, it is a scarab symbol on the left side, topped by a round dot, with a second oval shape with a jig-saw/toothed edge on the right. Above and below there are half-moon shapes.

    I've heard that each hieroglyphic symbol represents a sound (like letters), so groupings form words - this would seem to be a word to me then. It reminds me of the purple grouping on the bottom left seen here:

    as well as this image taken from another tomb (though the arrangement is slightly different):

    and this too:

    Does anyone have an idea what word it might be?!

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    1. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      Hi Tony,
      Thanks for the comment - I think you might be right (after a quick google image search)...the color/mottling definitely matches.
    2. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      thanks scandi ;)
    3. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      thanks jojo!
    4. Stillwater Stillwater, 10 years ago
      Deffinitely sterling. Don't worry that its unmarked. The blue stone is lapis, its very common in Egyptian Revival jewelry because King Tut's death mask is inlaid with it.
    5. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      thank you for the info stillwater! very helpful :)
    6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 10 years ago
      Wow, what a wonderful brooch!
    7. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      thanks Bellin, miKKo, and purpledog!
    8. joanna joanna, 10 years ago
      testing testing testing
    9. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      Thanks for the great info Kevin - that makes a lot of sense. Particularly regarding the texturing of the back, I can totally see how the marks would have been made by wax.

      What kinds of items have you made using this technique? I have no metalworking skills (as of yet) but would love to learn at some point.
    10. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      So interesting; I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for one of those kits. Sounds like fun :)

      Do post the Texas nugget ring if you run across it!

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