A finely carved Egyptian steatite scarab, with hieroglyphs to the reverse. The amulet features a detailed obverse, incised to depict the detailed clypeus and head, whilst single inscribed lines have been used to indicate the prothorax and elytra. The feet have also been depicted with diagonal grooves. The reverse features a deeply incised scene; with a large central, kneeling figure. His arms are raised in adoration, as he prostrates towards an obelisk to his right. The kneeling figure is a representation of the king. Beneath him is a ‘neb’ basket sign. Above are two further hieroglyphs. To the right is a small ‘nfr’ sign, which translates as ‘good’. To the left are two short horizontal lines. Combined, the signs refer to a commonly used epithet; ‘Perfect god, lord of the two lands’. This scarab is dedicated to the sun-god Ra, reiterated by the inclusion of the obelisk. The scarab is pierced for suspension.
Date: Circa 1292-1069 BC Period: New Kingdom Period, Ramesside Period Provenance: Ex private UK collection, Mr. DP, formerly acquired from a London dealership, BL, from 2004-2012. Condition: Very fine. Clear and defined hieroglyphs.
This scarab is dedicated to a sun-god, most likely Ra, who was considered the first pharaoh of Egypt. This is highlighted by the use of the obelisk hieroglyph, which was symbolic of the sun-god. Egyptian obelisks were often carved from a single stone, usually red granite, and topped with a gold or electrum cap. This would reflect the rays of the sun and re-inforce the connection to Ra.
Ra was one of the most important deities within the Egyptian pantheon. He was depicted as a falcon-headed male and bore similarities to Horus. He held dominion over the sun and sky and his rule extended to kingship and order, in his role as first pharaoh.