White Scarab with Hieroglyphs

£ 150.00

An ancient Egyptian white steatite scarab, with finely engraved anatomical features such as clypeus, prothorax and elytra. The reverse is detailed with hieroglyphs, including the engraved depiction of a beetle scarab with the sun disk, a basket, a feather of Maat and a papyrus stem. The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1200-500 BC
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: Very fine with some earthly encrustations, the details of the hieroglyphs are very clearly visible.
Product Code: ES-78
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Scarabs are amongst the most popular and most numerous of all Ancient Egyptian artefacts and were especially employed in the funerary context. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the Scarabaeus Beetle had the ability to spontaneously regenerate itself from cow dung, which these beetles roll around, forming small balls they push forward, bury themselves and lay eggs 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.

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

Dimensions H 1.3 cm
Stone

Steatite

Region

North Africa

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