Egyptian Gallery. In this very small pearls are used as a connective
decoration for the points of leaves, and to hold the leaves and
ornaments is a gold wire which is secured by bending. This piece
comprises 104 pearls, a greater number than is contained in any other
object of antiquity found in Egypt.
Egyptian pendant of unknown origin is also shown in this collection.
At the lower end is a bull's head, caparisoned, and the tip of each
horn is fitted with a ball like the embolados toros of the
Spanish bull-fights. The rein is double, and above this there are two
rondelles of an unidentified material ; then comes a rondelle of lapis
lazuli, and after this a rondelle of gold. The whole is strung with
twisted gold wire. The center stone is an hexagonal amethyst, evidently
a crystal, the two faces of which had been polished and incised. One of
these faces represents a priest with a staff of office, and the other a
priest holding an incense-burner with the hieroglyph of the altar. With
one hand he is offering the two sacrifices, the mineral and the
vegetable; in the other he holds a garland of flowers or leaves. Above
this is an Oriental pearl somewhat worn and abraded. All these are
secured by a twisted gold wire, to which four tiny gold beads of
graduated size are affixed at the top of the pendant.
are six other pendants and earrings in the Egyptian Gallery, all of
which contain pearls, and in most instances these pearls have been
drilled and suspended by metal wires, unless they are used as an
ornament facing outward. In four instances they are secured by a peg of
Assyrian and Persian bas-reliefs show that the sovereigns and great
personages of those countries adorned themselves profusely with pearls.
They wore them not only in their jewelry, but also on their garments
and even in their beards Î1 The coins of the Persian kings
also bear testimony to the use of the gem in ancient Persia, since the
sovereigns are represented wearing tiaras ornamented with triple rows
of pearls.2 The same may be said of the imperial Roman diadem from the time of Caracalla (188-217 a.D.).
One of the most interesting of all ancient pearl necklaces,3
containing more pearls than any other that has been found, and in a
better state of preservation, is the Susa necklace now in the Persian
Gallery of the Louvre Museum. It consists of three rows, each
containing 72 pearls, so that there are 216 in all. Ten gold bars,
formed of three small disks, each about five millimeters in diameter,
divide the necklace into nine equal sections; at each end there is a
disk, ten milli-
1 De Morgan, "Delegation en Perse," Paris, 3 See "Delegation en Perse," Vol. VIII.
1905. Vol. VIII, p. 52.
"Recherches Archéologiques." Paris, 1905,
'Imhoof-Blumer, "Porträtköpfe auf antiken third series, pp. 51-2, pi. 5. Münzen," pi. 7, figs. 12 sqq.