Egyptian Steatite Scarab with a Hippopotamus & Crocodile

£ 280.00

A finely rendered steatite Egyptian scarab beetle amulet with incised features such as clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. The reverse features two incised animals, a hippopotamus with its head to the ground, followed by a crocodile with a prominent tale to the base of the scarab. The scarab is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1550 - 1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period
Provenance: Ex Mustaki Collection. The scarab comes from the Mustaki Collection. Mustaki was an avid collector in the early 20th century and his collection came to the UK under 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. This collection and this item has been catalogued by Carol Andrews (formerly Egyptian Department in the British Museum).
Condition: Fine, with some cracking.
Product Code: ES-81
Categories: , Tags: ,

While the animals represented could embody specific deities, the goddess Tawaret as a hippopotamus or Sobek as a crocodile, the absence of other motifs, attributes or an inscription suggest that they function here as general apotropaic symbols. The hippopotamus and the crocodile are common Egyptian animals, living in and along the Nile. Through this close association with the river, and thus with life and the annual flooding, they were associated with renewal and regeneration.

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

Dimensions L 1.5 cm
Stone

Steatite

Region

North Africa

Egyptian Mythology

Sobek, Tawaret

Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item 04.2.800 .

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