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.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that the Scarabeus Beetle had the ability to spontaneously regenerate itself from cow dung, which these beetles roll around, forming small balls they push forward and bury themselves in. Consequently the scarab came to be associated with the spontaneous continuation of the life cycle. In addition, this movement resembled the journey the sun does everyday across the sky and therefore the Egyptian God Khepri, who represents the morning sun, became strongly associated with this insect. Scarabs are amongst the most popular and most numerous of all Ancient Egyptian artefacts and were especially employed in the funerary context.
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.