Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Broad Collar of Wah

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12
Reign:
reign of Amenemhat I, early
Date:
ca. 1981–1975 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Southern Asasif, Tomb of Wah (MMA 1102), Mummy, in wrappings on chest, MMA excavations, 1920
Medium:
Faience, linen thread
Dimensions:
H. 34.5 cm (13 9/16 in.); W. 39 cm (15 3/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1940
Accession Number:
40.3.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 105
This broad collar is one of the finest examples of its type from the early Middle Kingdom. It was carefully designed using beads of diminishing lengths to create the curved form. Although a few areas needed reinforcing with modern thread, the stringing is almost entirely original. Known as a wesekh in ancient Egyptian, this type of necklace adorns statues (30.8.57, 30.8.3), coffins (30.3.7, 25.3.182), and participants in banquet and offering scenes (13.183.3, 12.184, 28.3.35) from the Old Kingdom on. The collar is part of a set of funerary jewelry belonging to Wah, the estate manager of Meketre.

Wah's broad collar (40.3.2), anklets and bracelets (40.3.3–40.3.10) were made as funerary ornaments for the burial and were found in the layers of linen wrapping that were closest to the body; the collar had been tied around the neck, and the bracelets and anklets had been laid over the lower arms and legs. They are all made of a ceramic material called Egyptian faience. Beaded jewelry sets of this type are illustrated in the object friezes that decorate many Middle Kingdom coffins, and fragmentary examples have been found in numerous tombs of the period.
Mummy of Wah excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1920. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1920. Mummy unwrapped in New York, 1940.

Roehrig, Catharine H. 2015. "Jewelry of the Overseer of the Storehouse Wah." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 137–38, no. 69A.

Oppenheim, Adela 2015. "Artists and Workshops: The Complexity of Creation." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 25.

Arnold, Dieter and Adela Oppenheim 2015. "Excavations by The Metropolitan Museum of Art at Middle Kingdom Sites." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 313.

Related Objects

Floral collar from Tutankhamun's Embalming Cache

Date: ca. 1336–1327 B.C. Medium: Papyrus, olive leaves, persea leaves, nightshade berries, celery (?), faience, linen dyed red Accession: 09.184.216 On view in:Gallery 122

Floral Collar from Tutankhamun's Embalming Cache

Date: ca. 1336–1327 B.C. Medium: Papyrus, olive leaves, persea leaves, cornflowers, blue lotus petals, Picris flowers, nightshade berries, faience, linen Accession: 09.184.214 On view in:Gallery 122

Collar Necklace of Hapiankhtifi

Date: ca. 1981–1802 B.C. Medium: Faience, blue green and black Accession: 12.183.12 On view in:Gallery 112

Necklace in Gold Filagree of Queen Tausret

Date: ca. 1200–1186 B.C. Medium: Gold Accession: 30.8.66 On view in:Gallery 124

Floral Collars from Tutankhamun's Embalming Cache

Date: ca. 1336–1327 B.C. Medium: 09.184.214: Papyrus, olive leaves, persea leaves, cornflowers, blue lotus petals, Picris flowers, nightshade berries, faience, linen 09.184.215: Papyrus, olive leaves, cornflowers, linen 09.184.216: Papyrus, olive leaves, persea leaves, nightshade berries, celery (?), faience, linen dyed red Accession: 09.184.214–.216-related On view in:Gallery 122