Egyptian Lapis Lazuli Scribe Writer Amulet

£ 3,800.00

An extremely fine and rare Egyptian figurine of a seated scribe writer, carved from lapis lazuli, which was sourced from Afghanistan and thus considered an expensive and precious medium. The scribe is depicted either cross-legged or with the lower legs folded underneath the body, bare-chested and wearing a shoulder-length tripartite wig, set low on the forehead and tucked behind the ears. Both arms are placed flat against the legs with the palms placed downwards. Anatomical features have been finely and naturalistically carved, emphasising the figure’s musculature of the chest and abdomen. The face appears plain, and unworked.

Date: Circa 1550-1077 BC
Period: New Kingdom
Provenance: From an important London collection, formerly with Charles Ede.
Condition: Extremely fine condition with some earthly deposits o the surface. The piece has been mounted on a custom-made stand.


Product Code: ES-119
Category: Tag:

Statues and statuettes carved in the form of scribes, portrayed sitting or squatting with inscribed papyrus rolls in their laps, have been recovered since the Old Kingdom. Such production would have been placed in royal or high rank tombs to ensure that the deceased would have been assisted in the afterlife. As the Egyptians valued literacy above all other skills, Pharaohs, princes and officials would have also presented themselves as scribes, to ensure that they would have been considered part of the elite group of literates. Although larger-scale representations of scribes are quite common, small seals or amulets, such as this fine example, are extremely rare.  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. Scribe amulets would have ensured assistance in the afterlife but also presented the deceased as a literate.

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

Dimensions H 3 cm
Semi-Precious Stone

Lapis Lazuli


North Africa

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