An Ancient Egyptian turquoise faience amulet of the dwarf-god Ptaichos, portrayed squatting with his hand clasped on his protruding stomach. His legs are bent out to the sides and his head is disproportionally large. His facial features are also unusually large and exaggerated. The amulet has been pierced longitudinally to allow suspension. The reverse appears flat and unworked. The Ancient Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. Amulets were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife.
Date: 1550-656 Period: New Kingdom-Third Intermediate Period Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact. Some earthly deposits.
The god Ptaichos is so-called after a passage in Herodotus, which describes the protection-possessing power belonging to the image of a Phoenician dwarf. He was known as the son of Ptah, the craftsman’s god. In Old Kingdom scenes depicting daily life, dwarfs were always present among the workers in precious metal workshops. Ptaichos became very popular from the New Kingdom onwards, often shown holding snakes, making them harmless to people and children, and therefore was thought to provide protection against snakes and crocodiles.