A Rare Egyptian Bronze Sacred Asp Finger Ring c.1200 BC; Ex Baron Amherst Collection

Origin: Luxor, Egypt
Period: XX Dynasty
Provenance: Ex Baron Amherst collection, Didlington Hall Museum, item 4/6; found Luxor in the 19th century
Date: c.1200 BC
Size: M (UK) (approx.)
Weight: 3.82 grams
Width: 1 inch

The coiled round-section bronze rod with snake-head finial to form an asp, with old collector`s label stating `Egyptian Asp Finger Ring. Luxor. XX Dynasty` and card envelope marked `Ancient Egyptian. Bronze Finger Ring in the form of the Sacred Asp B.C. 1200 Excavated at Luxor the ring from the Ex Baron Amherst collection, Didlington Hall Museum and numbered as item 4/6, found in Luxor, Egypt in the 19th century and presented with it’s old collection packet with inked inscription.

Presented in fair condition considering the considerable antiquity the ring is in wearable condition but care must be taken if one is going to wear it on a day to day basis. It is stable and has wear and oxidization commensurate with age and exposure to elements in the ground in Luxor, Egypt where she was excavated in the nineteenth century.

Baron Amherst is renowned as a collector of books, manuscripts, antique furniture and other works of art, and latterly for his Egyptian collection which he housed in Didlington Hall. His name is prominent at the Carter Gallery display of Swaffham Museum, Norfolk, England which may mean that Tyssen-Amherst’s collection of ancient papyri and Egyptian figures was seen by a young Howard Carter. Records indicate that in 1882 Amherst exhibited six life size Egyptian figures at Swaffham Assembly Rooms and the catalogue describes the items exhibited which included a figure of a Bedouin chief and a Thutmose III brick (circa 1330 BC), excavated from the banks of the Nile. Amhurst`s collection included the lower section of a 20th Dynasty tomb robbery papyrus, otherwise described as the `Leopold II and Amherst Papyrus`, which is now in the Morgan Library & Museum, New York.

Something as mysterious as a snake, with deadly venom and great stealth, intrigues human beings endlessly. The ancient Egyptians were no exception. The fear and awe they had for such strong creatures made for an ambiguous symbol. Egyptian snakes were deified, of course, for their power. Sometimes they were protectors of the Pharaoh, and sometimes they were evil demons to be slain. As symbols of protection, they are shown woven around the sun-disk that some Gods and Goddesses wore, and they were also a big part of the jewelry of royalty. Crowns, armbands and statues of Egyptian snakes were very common - sometimes even made with solid gold. In ancient Egyptian mythology, the God Apep was a snake. He was the god of darkness and evil. He battled Ra and Bastet, and was defeated by either one every night - thus the darkness giving way to the light.

Awe inspiring in many ways and with a beautiful provenance, this is a relic of special magnificence.