Floral collar from Tutankhamun's Embalming Cache

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
reign of Tutankhamun
ca. 1336–1327 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Embalming cache of Tutankhamun (KV 54), Davis/Ayrton 1907
Papyrus, olive leaves, persea leaves, nightshade berries, celery (?), faience, linen dyed red
diam. 47 cm (18 1/2 in); d. 17 cm (6 11/16 in); diam. disk beads 0.5 cm (3/16 in)
Credit Line:
Gift of Theodore M. Davis, 1909
Accession Number:
  • Description

    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 (09.184.214) have been identified as olive leaves, cornflowers, and poppies. Several collars in the cache were bound around the edge with red cloth (09.184.215), 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 the same deposit (09.184.90).

  • Provenance

    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.