RARE EGYPTIAN JASPER SCARAB AMULET
Measurements: length - 2.6 cm
Description: An ancient Egyptian jasper scarab amulet of rich brown colour. A rare naturalistic detailed representation of Scarabaeus with prominent eyes, ribbed plates and clypeus ornamented by accentuated feelers. The shell consists of plain clear surfaces of thorax and elytra. The belly is decorated with modelled relief legs and a hoop in the middle section for attachment.
Such amulets were used in a funerary context. Egyptians regarded the scarab as an embodiment of the creator god, who was self-engendered, based on the belief that scarab (dung) beetles were self-creating. Scarabs are the most popular and most numerous of all Egyptian artefacts. Except for special funerary and royal commemorative scarabs, on average they are small-sized like this piece. The vast majority of scarabs are amulets providing protection and attracting good luck for the living.
Provenance: From the Gustave Mustaki collection, a collector of antiquities who amassed a large collection in Alexandria (Egypt). Mustaki was an avid collector in the early 20th century and his collection came to the UK under the Egyptian licence in 1947. Many of his pieces are in major museums worldwide, including the British Museum, the Getty Museum and the Egyptian State Museum. We have purchased over 1700 scarabs from this collection and many of these items were catalogued by Carol Andrews (formerly Egyptian Department in the British Museum).
Reference: Bonhams sale 2011, lot 53.
Period: 26th Dynasty, 664 – 525 BC
Condition: Very fine, intact. Minor chips to one of the eyes, thorax and underside legs.