Egyptian Turquoise Faience Bes Amulet

£ 300.00

An Ancient Egyptian glazed composition double-sized amulet of the dwarf god Bes in dark turquoise faience. Modelled in a grotesque manner, with a grimaced face, a protruding snout and pointy ears, Bes is depicted with a full beard and loose hair, wearing a tall headdress of five large incised ostrich plumes. His body is postured in his typical squatting position with hands on his hips, prominent belly with deep navel and wide chest, and long tail hanging down from his back. Facial and anatomical features have been rendered through deep carvings. A horizontal suspension hole has been pierced widthways across the lower part of the headdress.

Date: Circa 664-332 BC
Period: Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
Condition: Very fine, with some stabilised cracks to the glaze.


Product Code: ES-102
Category: Tags: ,

Bes was a popular Egyptian deity, always depicted as grotesque and deformed bearded dwarf, with the huge face of a mask with hybrid monkey-lion features and widened legs between which hangs a long animal’s tail. Bes is the only deity in ancient Egyptian pantheon to be represented exclusively in front perspective. In Ancient Egyptian culture and religion, Bes acted as guardian of women, the household, children, and he was particularly linked to the critical phase of labour and birth. He was also a protector of sleep, ensuring sweet dreams; in fact he was often depicted on the beds to prevent the evil spirits from appearing in dreams. 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.

To discover more about this interesting Ancient Egyptian deity, please visit our relevant post: Bes: Guardian of Women, Children and Sleep.

Dimensions H 2.2 cm

Green Faience

Egyptian Mythology



North Africa

Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item 987.451.

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