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Egyptian scarab swivel ring. Set to centre with a finely modeled blue faience scarab bead, threaded through with a fine gold wire and positioned between two spherical terminals, proceeding to decorative wireworkshoulders and culminating in a solid rounded shank, approximately 2.54g in weight. Tested yellow gold, circa 663-332 BC.
For a similar example in the Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford, see Diana Scarisbrick and Martin Henig, 'Finger Rings', cat. 1, page 16.
Dating back to at least 2000 BC, the scarab was a hugely popular motif in Ancient Egypt. Typically of oval form with a flat base, they were carved from stone or moulded from faience to create a stylised representation of the scarab beetle (Scarabaeus sacer). Egyptians revered the scarab beetle, who rolled dung in to a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay their eggs. When hatched, the Egyptians observed the offspring emerging from the dung and consequently they were seen as a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.