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jewelry glossary

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Egyptian faience

A ware made in Egypt, from before 3000 BC, of ground quartz fused by the use of an alkali and covered with a glaze made of a similarly produced material, but coloured (usually green to dark blue, sometimes other colours) and finely pulverized.

The term 'faience' is incorrect, since the body is not pottery and the glaze contains no tin oxide as in the case of glazed faience. Examples of such ware are the mummiform ushabti tomb figures, and also examples of jewelry such as beads, finger-rings, necklaces, and scarabs. The glaze employed was an early forerunner of similar objects made of glass.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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