Everybody is talking about the recent Tutankhamun exhibition in Saatchi Gallery, we decided to go and check it out.
Tutankhamun’s tomb, discovered by Egyptologist Howard Carter in 1922 has been likened to an Aladdin’s cave. And with over 5,300 catalogued goods, there really is no wonder why. His inner-most coffin was made of sheets of gold, that today would scrap for over £1m. This archaeological discovery has been the most significant to date, making the Boy King most famous of all Pharos.
Amongst many interesting items, (who knew Egyptians used boomerangs in approx. 1300BC), there is the jewellery. Ancient Egyptian creativity and designs were incredibly ahead of their time, so much so they are often incorporated in modern work. We were surprised to see the ancient falcon amulet hanging from a thick Spiga chain – a very contemporary link.
As for gem materials the most popular were Lapis lazuli, Turquoise, Carnelian, Alabaster, Obsidian and Amazonite (described at the exhibition as green feldspar). Stones were set in gold and silver, often displaying filigree work and granulation. The most prominent cutting styles include cabochons, beads, inlays and mosaic-like pieces.
The colours are vivid and the motifs striking even after over 3000 years, being the best testimony to the greatness of the ancient Egyptian ingenuity and design.