Hair ring - ROM2018_16320_51


Hair ring

Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1069 BC
Period: 18th-20th Dynasty, New Kingdom
1.6 × 0.4 cm
Object number: 986X2.13
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Penannular earrings such as this are a bit of mystery. They may be simply hoop earrings with a particularly narrow opening. They might be clipped directly onto the earlobe; some, but by no means all, similar earrings have wires to attach to the earring and to pass through a hole in the earlobe. Some Egyptologists believe the penannular rings may be hair ornaments, with strands of hair packed in through the cleft. Unfortunately for this theory, no images of people wearing such hair ornaments have been found. There have also been suggestions that such earrings were not worn in life, but were left with the mummy as token jewellery.

Penannular earrings were in style in Egypt from the late 17th Dynasty to the end of the 18th. This particularly beautiful and rare example is made of ribbed glass. The purple colour imitates amethyst.

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