Egyptian Turquoise Faience Osirian Triad Amulet

£ 4,000.00

A vibrant Egyptian turquoise faience amulet featuring the Osirian triad. Three figures are depicted in high relief; the goddess Isis on the left, her son Horus in the centre and the goddess Nepthys on the right. Isis and Nephthys are depicted as grown adults, clothed in skin-tight fabric and wearing their attributed headdresses. Isis wears the  stepped throne headdress, the same hieroglyphic sign used in her name. Nephthys similarly, is depicted wearing the house and basket headdress, signs which constitute her hieroglyphic name. Both goddesses can be seen reaching out towards the central figure of Horus, clasping his hands. The younger god, although depicted slightly larger than the two female figures, can be identified as a child from his nudity and the sidelock of hair. The latter was used by children and has been coined the ‘sidelock of youth’. It symbolised that each child was an heir of Osiris. Isis and Nephthys act as guardians to the young Horus, offering him protection through their intimate gesture. The three figures are depicted standing on an integral base. The back of the amulet is plain and there is a grooved loop for suspension. The amulet is attached to a small metal stand. There is an old Sotheby’s auction sticker to the reverse of the amulet, indicating the lot number and sale. An exceptionally rare piece in wonderful condition.

Height, including stand: 6.7cm

Date: Circa 640 - 30 BC
Period: Late Period - Ptolemaic Period
Provenance: Ex private collection JL, Surrey. Ex private collection, AH. Ex Sotheby's, London, 12th Dec 1983, lot 184.
Condition: Excellent. A truly fabulous piece, of large proportions. Rarely available on the market.
Product Code: ES-147
Category: Tags: ,

The three figures represented on this amulet are collectively known as the Osirian triad, due largely for their involvement in the Osiris creation myth. Isis and Nephthys were sisters, and the former was known as the wife of Osiris. Both goddesses were responsible for the care of Osiris’ body, having been killed by Set and protection of the infant Horus. Their outstretched hands, in intimate gesture of embrace, signifies their protective nature. Both goddesses were associated with rebirth and played a part in the funeral rites. Such amulets would have been worn to bestow the same level of care and protection offered to Horus, to the deceased. All three deities were part of the Heliopolis Ennead, which was formed of nine or ten principle Egyptian deities. These included the sun-god Atum; his children Shu and Tefnut; their children Geb and Nut; and their children Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. Horus was also often included.

To discover more about amulets in the Ancient Egyptian world, please visit our relevant post: Amulets in Ancient Egypt.

Dimensions W 3.2 x H 5.1 cm
Egyptian Mythology

Horus, Isis, Nephthys


Turquoise Faience


North Africa

Reference: For a similar item: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, item 26.7.890

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