This sterling silver necklace features the iconic image of the Gayer Anderson Cat with details highlighted in 18 carat gold.
One of the greatest treasures of The British Museum, the original is a highly decorated sacred temple cat dating from c.600 BC and was donated by Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson. This regal looking cat wears gold earrings and a gold nose ring. Her silver-plated breastplate is decorated with the sacred eye of the god Horus, beneath which is an ornamental scarab and silvered disc. The domesticated cat is probably associated more with ancient Egypt than any other culture in the world. This cat is a particularly fine example of the many statues of cats from ancient Egypt.
In Ancient Egypt it was believed that most deities were able to take the form of a sacred animal in order to appear on earth. Amun might disguise himself as a goose or a ram, Horus as a falcon. Not all members of a species were considered sacred, only those lucky enough to be chosen to live in a temple as the god's representative were revered. The only animal which the Egyptians seem to have held in total respect whether it was a pet or kept in a temple was the cat. All Egyptian cats were descended from the wild Libyan desert cat with long legs, sharply pointed ears and brindled fur which is often depicted in Book of the Dead papyrus vignettes cutting up the evil serpent Apophis. The Greek historian Herodotus reported that in his time (about 450 BC) when a house caught fire the first thing to be saved was the house cat and that whole families went into mourning when their pet died. Small but elaborate coffins were made especially for the mummified remains of a favourite pet.
The designer Paula Bolton creates jewellery for a variety of prestigious Museum and Heritage shops. The jewellery is handcrafted in Bali by a group of families who over the past 14 years have become Paula’s close friends. The skills of the Balinese crafts people have been handed down from generation to generation. All jewellery in the Paula Bolton collection is made from 925 Sterling silver and is often highlighted with 18 carat gold details. Paula also likes to use copper in some of her work – especially her more statement pieces.
Read more about the Gayer-Anderson cat here