The Ancient Egyptians believed that the Scarabeus Beetle had the ability to spontaneously regenerate itself from cow dung, which these beetles roll around, forming small balls they push forward and bury themselves in. Consequently the scarab came to be associated with the spontaneous continuation of the life cycle. In addition, this movement resembled the journey the sun does everyday across the sky and therefore the Egyptian God Khepri, who represents the morning sun, became strongly associated with this insect. Scarabs are amongst the most popular and most numerous of all Ancient Egyptian artefacts and were especially employed in the funerary context.The scarab features hieroglyphs, the most notable ones being the sphinx. Sphinx was used as a biliteral for rw and uniliteral for l or r. It is also an ideogram for a lion. Next to the sphinx on the left is an ideogram for a chariot.
Small Steatite Scarab
A small-sized steatite scarab from the renowned Mustaki collection. The piece is longitudinally pierced and suitable for wear.
Provenance: From the Gustave Mustaki collection, a collector of antiquities who amassed a large collection in Alexandria (Egypt). Mustaki was an avid collector in the early 20th century and his collection came to the UK under the Egyptian licence in 1947. Many of his pieces are in major museums worldwide, including the British Museum, the Getty Museum and the Egyptian State Museum. We have purchased over 1700 scarabs from this collection and many of these items were catalogued by Carol Andrews (formerly Egyptian Department in the British Museum).
Condition: Very fine, minor crazing to the surfaces.