Two Bracelets of King Shoshenq II

Two Bracelets of King Shoshenq II. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72184 A-B

These golden bracelets belong to King Shoshenq II who was co-regent with his father for a short period of time, then became king and died before reaching complete power.

The twin bracelets were found, with another identical five bracelets, around the wrists of the king. The two ornaments here are decorated with the wadjet eye, above the hieroglyphic “Neb” sign symbolizing eternal protection for the king. The decorations of the bracelets are identical except for the eyes.

The right eye of Re is depicted on one of the bracelets represented the sun, while the other bracelet portrays the left eye of Horus represented the moon. The cartouches of the king can be seen within the bracelets, while, on the outside, vertical strips run along the surface, made from gold and lapis lazuli.

Left Eye Bracelet of King Shoshenq II
Right Eye Bracelet of King Shoshenq II

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

Around the square with the eye, the bracelet is decorated with vertical bands of gold and lapis lazuli, and the edges with a strip of rectangles of inlaid lapis lazuli alternating with squares of carnelian. Inside, there are two engraved cartouches bearing the name of Shoshenq I, from whom Shoshenq II inherited many jewels.

Third Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, ca. 945-720 BC. Found on the mummy of King Shoshenq II, in his tomb at Tanis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72184 A-B

Leave a Reply