Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mastery of Design: Queen Alexandra's Scarab Bracelet

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
This and all related images courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Click on each image for a larger version.

Made in 1862 and attributed to the firm of Phillips Bros. & Son, this bangle of gold, steatite, amethyst and glazed composition was given to Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1844-1925).  The bracelet was made with six scarabs
acquired by King Edward VII, when Prince of Wales, upon a visit to Egypt in 1862,  The finished bracelet was presented by Queen Victoria to Princess Alexandra on December 1 of the same year.

The scarabs are mounted in openwork scroll settings, with stylized rearing cobras flanking the the sun.  Each of the scarabs is carved on the back, except for the amethyst which in itself typifies a very fine example of hardstone scarab from the XII Dynasty (c. 1985-1795 BC). 

The bangle also boasts a faience scarab which is adorned with animals, including the a rare depiction of the "Typhonian animal" a dog-like creature which resembles a greyhound or a jackal.  This animal is associated with Seth (or Set), the Egyptian god of the desert and storms in addition to the attributes of chaos and confusion. 

No comments: