Egyptian Faience Duck Scaraboid with Pharaoh Prenomen
A finely rendered and well-preserved Egyptian duck-shaped scaraboid amulet, modelled in bright turquoise faience. The duck is presented with the head resting on its body, which appears carefully and naturalistically rendered. Incised lines emphasize the bird’s plumage and tail. The base has been engraved with perfectly readable hieroglyphs forming the prenomen of the pharaoh Thutmose III, transliterating as Men-Kheper-Re. Not all scarabs and amulets bearing a royal name are contemporaneous to the ruling pharaoh. Some kings were held in particularly high regard, and thus their name appears on scarabs hundreds of years after their reign. Thutmosis III of Dynasty XVIII was particularly honoured in this way, with his praenomen, Men-Kheper-Re, used on scarabs and amulets for a period of circa 1000 years.
Date: Circa 1550-1077 BC Period: New Kingdom Period Provenance: Ex provate London collection. 1980's-2021; previously in a mixed lot from Sotheby's, from a collection formed pre 1980. Condition: Extremely fine, some loss of colour.
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.The iconography of the trussed duck appears in a number of forms, including amulets, cosmetic jars and perfume bottles. The hieroglyphic symbol appears as a determinative and can be translated as ‘offer’. As most of the material evidence suggests trussed duck pieces were buried with the deceased, it stands that such pieces were used as offerings, tying in with the transliteration of the symbol.