Howard Carter had a hunch, and on the 26th of November 1922, in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, his hunch paid off. Big. Though conventional wisdom of the day said that all of the Royal tombs in Egypt's great Valley had been looted and emptied over the ages, Carter knew of one King whose tomb had never been found. The young boy-King Tutankhamen; and he thought he knew where it was.
For eight years, with the support of his benefactor, Lord Carnarvon, Carter searched in vain for the hidden tomb. Then, with his luck running thin and his funds running thinner; one day his workers discovered a series of steps leading down to a sealed door. Upon entering the door, the team was met with a passageway filled with stones and rubble. When they cleared this passage they found a door marked with the royal mark of the King. Carter's luck had taken a serious turn.
Carter describes breaking through this final door thusly: "At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, wonderful things.'"
Wonderful things. The boy-King had not been long lived but he carried a slice of the privilege and wealth of his own royal world of the Pharaohs with him into the tomb where it sat, untouched and in darkness, for over 3000 years. It would take Carter until February of 1923 to even make it through the first three antechambers and into the actual tomb of the King. Laying in a gold casket, his head enshrined in the now-iconic golden mask, Tut was surrounded by a genuine treasure trove of objects. Gold covered the walls, and glinted off the floors, stacked high with statues of ebony and gold. Bottles of perfume and precious jewelry lined every niche, spilling onto the floors. His own golden throne was there, and his golden chariot, even a fleet of miniature ships and seven full sized golden oars to help guide him to the underworld. Treasure upon treasure upon treasure.
Is it any wonder, then, that the world flocked to see the glories of Carter's find? Any wonder that the worlds of fashion and design were instantly overcome with Egyptian motifs? Snakes, scarabs, and winged creatures were instantly coveted by fashionistas everywhere. This fantastic ring would have fit right in.
Hand crafted in England in about 1925, this wonderful large scale ring is set with a gorgeous turquoise blue ceramic carved scarab beetle. The beetle is set in a chunky 15 karat gold mounting that features Egyptian motifs on the shoulders. The scarab measures 15x11.5 mm and the face of the ring is 18.4 mm from north to south and 20 mm across, it sits 7 mm off the finger and narrows to 2.5 mm at the back of the band. This ring is a size 5.5 and weighs 6.9 grams. It is unmarked but has been carefully acid tested to verify the metal content.
A condition note on this ring: I suspect that this scarab is an original one from Egypt, as opposed to a later carved one. It is cracked but seems very secure in the mounting, the discoloration is not something I could remove. Mostly likely this scarab is thousands of years old.
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