Bracelet of Shoshenq II

This bracelet is one of pair bracelets found around the wrist of king Shoshenq II with representations of the Wadjet eye above the hieroglyphic “Neb” sign symbolizing eternal protection for the king.

The Egyptians often referred to the sun and the moon as the “eyes” of particular gods. The right eye of the god Re, for instance, was equated with the sun, and his left eye of Horus equated with the moon.

Bracelet of King Shoshenq II
Bracelet of King Shoshenq II. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72184B

The image was believed to protect the king as it represented the healed eye in the myth of Horus and his uncle Seth. The myth says that Seth struck out the eye of Horus during a struggle and reduced it to pieces but that Thoth magically recomposed the eye which then became known as wadjet or “healing eye”.

The wadjet was one of the most widespread talismans in ancient Egypt. It is even seen on a bracelet in the treasure of Tutankhamun. The wadjet represents refound wholeness and the restoration of lost well-being. 

Third Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, reign of Shoshenq II, ca. 887-885 BC. Made of gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian and white faience. From the Tomb of Shoshenq II at Tanis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72184B