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Necklace of fly beads

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Gold and carnelian necklace composed of 29 hollow gold flies alternating with spherical carnelian beads and tubular gold foil beads. Fly ornament necklaces, occasionally presented to courageous soldiers, may have been worn as talismans to ward off insects.


1913:collected in Egypt; 1913-1979: New York private collection; 1979: purchased by the MFA at Sotheby Parke Bernet auction December 13, 1979. (Accession Date: December 13, 1979)

Credit Line

William Stevenson Smith Fund

Egyptian, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1550–1295 B.C.


Length (without modern chain) 10 1/2 in. (26.7cm) Flies 1.1 to 1.7 cm

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold; carnelian


The Ancient World


Jewelry / Adornment, Necklaces, Neck Bands