This week I am AGAIN forgoing my dad's basement for something from my mom! I'm sure you can't believe that she has contributed to all of my vintage stuff as much as he, and neither can I, but as I think each week about what to share, I realize she has, and there's more to come! The difference between the things I get from my dad and those from my mom is that his stuff is mostly display/decorative, and her's is stuff I use or wear, so it's not necessarily being stored, it's on a bookcase to be read, or in the closet or jewelry box to be worn.
My mother got this awesome scarab jewelry on a trip to Egypt in the late 1950s. My mom was a fun, young secretary, straight out of high school for years before she got married, and she always went on trips with her friend Rosemary. When I look at her hats, suits, shoes, bags, I think of Marlo Thomas playing Annmarie, or dressed like the women who are the secretaries on Mad Men! But not behaving inappropriately like them!
I asked her for the set about 15 years ago, and I wore it often when I was working. The earrings still have their screw backs; I really want to get them converted to pierced, and have the clasp on the bracelet tightened. It's one of those things I just don't get around to. The stones are lapis, moonstone, carnelian, and what appears to be a dark green turquoise-type stone, and the metal is silver. I can't seem to get a good picture of the set, but I was totally thrilled when I found a picture of the earrings online at a vintage jewelry store. They are an exact match!
Scarab jewelry is not very popular or well-known these days, so I thought I'd give you a little history of it, and show you some great pieces I found online! I don't own any of these, but some I do covet!
Throughout history, jewelry has not just been for adornment. It often has religious, cultural or magical purposes One religious symbol in ancient Egypt was the scarab beetle, representing rebirth and renewal, and the ankh amulet as a symbol of eternal life. Gold was the metal of choice for the pharaoh; it was thought to be the flesh of the sun-god Ra, and eternal. Silver was considered to be a form of white gold, and from Isis, goddess of the moon. It was often studded with stones, such as lapis, turquoise, and carnelian.
Many beliefs of the Ancients in every culture were based on regularly occurring events in nature. One of these myths in ancient Egypt was that of the dung beetle. Some dung beetles, known as tumblebugs, form balls of dung that they roll about with their hind legs, sometimes for long distances and sometimes working in pairs. Eventually they bury the ball and lay eggs in it. One of these ball-rollers is the sacred scarab, Scarabaeus sacer, a black scarab beetle of the Mediterranean region. In ancient Egypt the periodic appearance of this beetle in huge numbers on the surface of the Nile mud led people to associate it with resurrection and immortality. It was believed that all scarabs were males capable of reproducing their own kind. Their ball-rolling activities were associated with the 24-hour movement of the sun.A representation of this beetle, such as a ceramic or stone sculpture or a cut gem, would be used in ancient Egypt as a talisman and a symbol of the soul. It was often found in place of the heart or placed on the belly button. The placement of the scarab in the heart was particularly significant as the ancient Egyptians believed the heart was more important than the mind.I hope you've enjoyed learning a little about scarab jewelry! Do you or a friend have any? Have you heard of it before? Be sure to let me know, and take some time to visit the other VTT participants!