Earring

M11440

On display

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.