Measurements: item A: 1.4 cm − length, item B: 1.3 cm − length, item C: 1.4 cm − length, item D: 1.5 cm − length


Description: A selection of small-sized steatite scarabs from the renowned Mustaki collection. All of the pieces are longitudinally pierced and suitable for wear. On the bottom of item A is the hieroglyph representing a basket (translating as nb, Egyptian word for 'everything', 'every', 'master', 'lord' or 'lady'), above which is the Uraeus hieroglyph, in the form of the Egyptian cobra, used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty and divine authority. Under the cobra there is a lotus flower hieroglyph, and on the right there is the hieroglyph for 'stele', ‘boundary stone’ or ‘landmark’.


Item B bears a number of distinct hieroglyphs: framing them there are the two basket hieroglyphs. In the centre is the hieroglyph representing a gaming board with counters (translating as mn and 'strong', 'stable', and 'enduring'), the hieroglyph beneath could be a water canal sign that stands for names of rivers and lakes. Beneath it there are two small hieroglyphs, one on the left standing for ‘base’ or ‘seat’ (unilateral p) and the one on the right standing for bread (phonetic t). To the right is the hieroglyph depicting the ostrich feather of Ma'at, which represents truth. Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls of the departed would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully.


Item C depicts the Scarabaeus sacer, or dung beetle, which carried religious significance to the Egyptians. Dung beetles roll dung into a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay eggs. For these reasons the Scarabaeus sacer was seen as a symbol of the heavenly cycle and of the idea of rebirth or regeneration. On either side of the scarab are the hieroglyphs representing the Uraeus.


On the base of item D is a royal cartouche, containing the name, title and epithets of Thutmose III (Men-kheper-re). Thutmose III was the sixth pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. During the first 22 years of his reign, he was co-regent with his aunt and stepmother, Hatshepsut. He was famous for his military campaigns, conquering large territories and expanding the empire. To the left of the cartouche are the nefer hieroglyph (translating as 'the good’, ‘beautiful’, ‘perfection') and the divine flag hieroglyph (translating as ntr and 'divine' or 'god'). The translation of this piece would be ‘the perfect god Men-kheper-re (Thutmose III)’. The price is per individual item. Please e-mail with the letter of your preferential scarab prior to purchase. Items B, C and D are SOLD.


Reference: For item D: The Walters Art Museum


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).


Period: New Kingdom (1550 – 1077 BC)


Condition: All very fine and intact. Item A has minor chipping to the base. Item B has minor crazing around the base and to the scarab. Item C has minor chipping to the base and to the mouth of the hole for suspension; the scarab has minor crazing. Item D has encrustations over the base and minor chipping, the scarab has encrustations and minor chip to the leg on the right.

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