A place of mystery, discovery, and wonder, Ancient Egypt has gone on to contribute and inspire much of the modern world. For Designer, Emily Robson, many of its mythological creatures took centre stage for her Motley collection. We take a look at the history and meaning behind this iconography that playfully adorns her jewellery designs:
Riddle solved, Sphinx
The sphinx was the guardian of choice for Ancient Egyptian temples - fierce, and great with a riddle (killer combination). With the body of a lion and the head of a human, the Sphinx was often depicted as a male with a pharaoh headdress.
Since jackals were often seen in cemeteries, the ancient Egyptians believed that Anubis watched over the dead, hence why Anubis was the ultimate god of the underworld and guardian of the dead. Down boy.
A purrrrfect Royal Cat
The Egyptian Cat Goddess, Bastet, was worshipped as an icon of female sensuality and strength (she was one cool cat). The National Geographic recently took a deep dive into how the cat goddess played such an important role throughout Ancient Egypt, with people believing cats to be magical creatures, capable of bringing good luck. With each turn of the millenium B.C. she went from being regarded as a fearsome protector to taking on more of a domesticated, nurturing role. Take note, cat lovers.
Cleopatra, comin’ at ya
Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent for almost three decades. Celebrated for her beauty, she was highly intelligent and an astute politician who brought prosperity and peace to a country that was bankrupt and split by civil war. The snake, often shown besides Cleopatra, has been associated with how she supposedly committed suicide; by snake bite (snakes alive!) But the snake was also an emblem she identified with as it represented the royal house of Egypt and was seen as a sacred animal.
See the Motley x Emily Robson take on these fantastical beasts here >