Floral Collars from Tutankhamun's Embalming Cache

New Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 122

These remarkably well preserved floral collars, from the embalming cache of Tutankhamun, illustrate 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 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 the same deposit (09.184.83).

After the king's funeral, the floral collars, broken dishes, and other materials used during the ceremonies were placed in the large pottery storage jars that were found in the cache thirty-three hundred years later.

Floral Collars from Tutankhamun's Embalming Cache, 09.184.214: Papyrus, olive leaves, persea leaves, cornflowers, blue lotus petals, Picris flowers, nightshade berries, faience, linen
09.184.215: Papyrus, olive leaves, cornflowers, linen
09.184.216: Papyrus, olive leaves, persea leaves, nightshade berries, celery (?), faience, linen dyed red

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