About this object

Pair of penannular ribbed earrings. Consisting of six gold rods, with two longer than the others. Each rod is hollow and triangular in section. The jeweller has bent fours rods into a penannular shape and soldered them together with the two longer rods in the centre. The narrow cleft just allowed the central rods to be inserted through the pierced earlobe. Formerly in the collection of Henry Salt and recorded as being collected at Memphis.

The entry for this item appears in Joseph Mayer's 1879 catalogue and reads, "ear-rings, of gold - a pair. These are remarkable as corroborating the faithfulness of part of Scripture (Genesis, chap. 42, v. 22), which had long been considered an error of the Greek scribe, in rendering the word "shekel". The first translators of the sacred volume, thinking that no ear-rings could have been so ponderous as to weigh "half a shekel", placed that word in italics. But these ear-rings, which were discovered by Mr. Salt, the British Consul in Egypt, and taken by him from the ears of a mummy, weigh just "half a shekel" each.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Personal Ornament
  • Culture
    New Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Memphis
  • Date made
    1550 BC - 1295 BC about
  • Materials
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Henry Salt
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Memphis
  • Date collected
    1827 before
  • Measurements
    overall each: 13 mm x 35 mm x 32 mm
  • Note
    Acquired at the sale of Henry Salt's collection at Sotheby's, London, 1835 lot 218.
  • Related people
    Annesley, George Arthur, 9th Viscount Valentia ( Previous owner); Joseph Mayer ( Previous owner); Henry Salt ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • Catalogue of the Egyptian Museum, No. VII, Colquitt Street, Liverpool

    Mayer, Joseph

    Author: Mayer, Joseph
    Publisher: Joseph Mayer
    Date: 1852
    Description: Joseph Mayer published a catalogue of his collection in 1852, whilst it was at his Egyptian Museum in Colquitt Street. This is before he donated his collection to the Liverpool Free Public Museums in 1867 so his entries do not include the accession numbers that the objects now bear.

  • Catalogue of the Highly Interesting and Magnificent Collection of Egyptian Antiquities, the Property of the Late Henry Salt Esq., his Britannic Majesty’s Late Consul General in Egypt

    Sotheby and Son

    Author: Sotheby and Son
    Publisher: Sotheby and Son
    Date: 1852
    Description: Auction catalogue of the Henry Salt collection sold by auction by Sotheby and Son at 3 Wellington Street, Strand, London, on Monday 29 June 1835 and for 8 days afterwards. Available on Google books http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=K2pbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=sale+of+the+henry+salt+collection&source=bl&ots=Abag6tsY8B&sig=J0v7j6GCNxa_19F-y6JrjuajSb8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aq70U4OyLNGB7Qa8oIE4&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=sale%20of%20the%20henry%20salt%20collection&f=true

  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: 83 page illustrated catalogue of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Joseph Sams or Lord Valentia collections. The woodcut illustrations were produced by the noted Victorian illustrator and engraver, Llewellynn Frederick William Jewitt FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 catalogue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text. Much of this information was provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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