The Ashmolean Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world and is located at the University of Oxford in England. It houses a vast collection of art and artifacts from various cultures and time periods. We recently worked with the Ashmolean to create jewelry inspired by artifacts in their Egyptian collection. We were particularly captivated by a stone with two painted lions.
The painting features a deep red sun symbol for which we used carnelian in our reproduction. The bright red to reddish-orange color of carnelian was associated with the sun and the concept of rebirth in ancient Egyptian culture. Its vibrant color and perceived protective properties made it a valuable material for personal adornment and ritual use. It remains an important gemstone in the study of ancient Egyptian history and archaeology.
Lions were often seen as symbols of power, strength, and protection. They were frequently depicted in Egyptian art, often in a stylized or symbolic form rather than realistic representations. Lions could also symbolize royal authority and strength. Pharaohs and other royalty were sometimes depicted alongside lions or as lions themselves in art. Egyptian symbolism often incorporated dualistic elements, and lions might be used in pairs to represent balance and harmony.
Images: The Ashmolean Museum