From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Embalming cache of Tutankhamun (KV 54), Davis/Ayrton excavations, 1907
Papyrus, olive leaves, cornflowers, linen
diam. 44 cm (17 5/16 in); d. 15.5 cm (6 1/8 in)
Gift of Theodore M. Davis, 1909
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 122
This remarkably preserved floral collar, from the embalming cache of Tutankhamun, illustrates how the broad collars so frequently depicted in Egyptian tomb paintings were made. Alternating rows of flower petals and blossoms, leaves, berries, and blue faience beads were sewn to a papyrus backing, and linen ties secured the collar around the wearer's neck. Some of the flora used in the Tutankhamun collars have been identified as olive leaves, cornflowers, and poppies. Several collars in the cache, like this one, were bound around the edge with red cloth, and the resulting combination of red, blue, black, and green must have been very colorful and similar to the polychrome decoration on some of the terracotta vessels in same deposit (09.184.99).
Excavated by Theodore M. Davis in the Valley of the Kings (KV 54), 1907. Received by Davis in the division of finds. Given by Davis to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1909.
Winlock, Herbert E. 2010. "Materials Used at the Embalming of King Tutankhamun." In Tutankhamun's Funeral, edited by Herbert E. Winlock and Dorothea Arnold. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 58–59, figs. 59–61.