An exquisitely carved red Jasper amulet of the Egyptian god Bes. The dwarf-god is depicted squatting on a rectangular base and depicted in a characteristic manner. His arms, bent slightly at the elbow are by his side, his fists clenched. His bent knees gives him his typical squatting pose, whilst an elongate member hangs between his legs. There is incised detailing to his face to portray a detailed portrait and clear facial features. He is depicted bearded with deep set eyes, a squat nose and protruding tongue. The amulet has been carved in the round, with similar attention paid to the reverse of the piece. A thick tail hangs from Bes’ curved buttocks. There is a hole drilled into the top of his head, which may have been filled with a feathered attachment.
Date: 664-30 BC Period: Late Period Provenance: Ex Lacy Scott collection. UK private collection. This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11294-190252 Condition: Very Fine. Has been extensively repaired.
Bes is an Egyptian god associated with fertility, childbirth and merriment. Bes was typically depicted as a dwarf with a large head and ears, wide eyes, and an ugly expression. He is usually shown naked with bow legs, a bushy tale and wearing a crown of feathers. His grotesque features are thought to have warded off any evil spirits that attempted to enter the household. Thus he was an immensely popular household deity. His image was commonly found all over the Egyptian household, especially on the entrances to birth houses. He was believed to be a protector of children and childbirth. He is also associated with newly-weds, couples and pregnant women.