All the faience fruit and flower-shaped beads featured on this necklace are intrinsically linked not only to aspects of everyday life in Ancient Egypt but also to the idea of afterlife. Indeed, lotus flowers grew on the Nile and were deeply admired by the Egyptians for their scent and beauty, but also because they were related to creation myths and therefore symbolised creation and rebirth. Grapes were cultivated there and used to make wine which played an important role in ceremonies. Bes, on the other hand, was a popular and extremely loved Egyptian deity, protector of childbirth, he was believed to ward off any demons that may corrupt the unborn child. Bes was worshipped in households to protect against any intruders, whether it be people or deadly animals. Although the deity was presented in a grotesque, intimidating way, Bes was very friendly and was symbolised with laughter, music and dance granting him many different qualities. Hence the representation of a dancing Bes, playing a tambourine.
To discover more about jewellery in the Ancient World, please visit our relevant post: Jewellery in Antiquity.