Vintage "Eye of Horus" Signet Ring
The Eye of Horus is perhaps the most recognisable symbol from ancient Egyptian culture, up there with the Ankh, the scarab, and the pyramid. Also known as the left wedjat eye or udjat eye, it represents well-being, healing, and protection, but also linked to the moon, who's waxing and waning were seen to represent the injury and restoration of Horus's eye.
As part of the Osiris myth, the most influential story in ancient Egyptian mythology, Horus and Set were locked in a cosmic conflict. Set had ascended to the throne of Egypt after murdering Osiris, Horus's father. Isis protected her child, Horus, from Set, who naturally saw the boy as a threat to his position. As soon as the boy came of age, he challenged Set in a bid to avenge his father and take his rightful place on the throne. It's interesting to note, at this point, that although the conflict was violent, it was also described as a legal judgement before an assembled panel of Egyptian deities - the Ennead - who would decide which should rule Egypt (Set and Osiris shared a father, Geb, so there was a strong claim on both sides). The divine struggle involves many episodes, and injuries are sustained on both sides: Set loses his testicles, and thus his virility and strength; whereas Horus loses an eye (or occasionally both), which signifies a darkening of the moon and a break in the natural cycles of the cosmos. Accounts then vary, with some stating that Horus gets help from other deities in order to restore his eye - usually Thoth or Hathor - and others indicating that he recovers the eye himself, but ultimately the eye is restored and Horus takes the throne as the rightful King of Egypt. He then performs funerary rites for his father, offering the Eye of Horus, which in this instance represents life and plenty, to sustain him in the afterlife and allow him to become King of the dead - mirroring his son's role in the realm of the living.
This signet ring was made in the 1970s by the esteemed Charles Green & Son. It's set with a cushion shaped bloodstone panel that we've had engraved with the Eye of Horus, reverse carved to make an imprint in wax. Crafted in 9ct yellow gold with English hallmarks from the year 1973, the seal was engraved using traditional hand tools and techniques.
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