Broad Collar and Beadnet Dress
Broad Collar and Beadnet Dress
Egypt (From Giza, tomb G 7440 Z.), Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, Reign of Khufu, 2551-2528 B.C.E.
Faience and gold, Dress width and length: 44 x 113cm (17 5/16 x 44 1/2in.)
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition 1927, Reconstructed by Millicent Jick
Broad collar, MFA #27.1548.1
Beadnet dress, MFA #27.1548.2
Photos © Joan Ann Lansberry

"Depictions of women in Egyptian art occasionally feature garments decorated with an overall lozenge pattern. This design is believed to represent beadwork, which was either sewn onto a linen dress or worked into a separate net worn over the linen. This beadnet dress is the earliest surviving example of such a garment. It has been painstakingly reassembed from approximately seven thousand beads found in an undisturbed burial of a female contemporary of King Khufu. Although their string had disintegrated, a few beads still lay in their original pattern on and around the mummy, permitting an accurate reconstruction. The color of the beads has faded, but the beadnet was originally blue and blue green in imitation of lapis lazuli and turquoise." (From info card)