Pendant

Pendant

1865-1873 (made)

unknown

Length: 3.3 cm

861-1873 MES

Green and red beetle set in sheet silver, Damascus (Syria), 1865-1873.

The dried body of a bright green and red beetle in a closed mount with toothed setting. There is a small loop for suspension at the top holding a loose ring.

This pendant, made from the carcass of a real beetle, was bought for the Museum in Damascus in 1873. Although amulets were widely worn by Moslems, and the scarab beetle was an important amulet in Ancient Egypt, real beetles were not usually used for this purpose in the region. This particular pendant is more likely to have been made as a souvenir for western visitors. Iridescent green beetles, imported mainly from India and Brazil, were popular items of jewellery in Britain in the 1870s.

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website