Historical period(s)
Dynasty 18-19, New Kingdom, ca. 1539-1190 BCE
Medium
Faience (glazed composition)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 2.1 x 2.3 x 1.2 cm (13/16 x 7/8 x 1/2 in)
Geography
Egypt
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1907.388
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Faience
Type

Ring

Keywords
Egypt, Horus, New Kingdom (ca. 1539 - 1075 BCE)
Provenance

To 1907
Unidentified owner, Egypt, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased in Egypt from an unidentified owner in 1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1875, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

The wedjat eye is a symbol of the falcon-headed god Horus, who gave the eye to his father Osiris and by doing so brought him back to life.  In another story, the eye of Horus was injured and the time required for it to heal was likened to the cycle of the moon.  The symbol may be translated as "the whole or restored one."

This type of amulet would have been used both during life and in the tomb as a symbol of protection during life and rebirth after death.  The wedjat eye occurs as an amulet as early as the Old Kingdom in various materials and was often painted on objects such as Middle Kingdom coffins.  But openwork faience wedjat eye rings like this one are limited to the New Kingdom (ca. 1539-1075 B.C.E.), primarily to Dynasties 18 and 19 (ca. 1539-1190 B.C.E.).

Published References
  • Carol Andrews. Amulets of Ancient Egypt. Austin. .
  • Eleni Sakes. Ancient Jewelry Charms, Exquisite Freer Gallery Group. Washington, January 2, 1955. section B, p. 8.
  • Richard H. Wilkinson. Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture. London. pp. 42-43.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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