Ancient Egyptian Blue Faience Bes Amulet

$185.26

An ancient Egyptian blue faience amulet of the dwarf god, Bes. Modelled in a grotesque manner, with a grimaced face, a protruding snout and pointy ears, Bes is depicted with a full beard and wearing a tall headdress of large ostrich plumes. His body is postured in his typical squatting position with his hands on his knees and a prominent belly. Facial and anatomical features have been rendered across the lower part of the headdress. To the reverse, a small suspension loop extends from the god’s back.

Date: Circa 664 - 332 BC
Period: Late Period
Condition: Good condition, some earthly encrustations on the surface.

SOLD

SKU: MG-361 Category: Tags: , ,

Bes was known as a dwarf god and considered a protector of the home and of women and children. He was an unusual deity in the Egyptian pantheon as very little is known of his creation and he had no dedicated temples. He was however one of the most important gods and was worshiped fastidiously across Egyptian homes, with small dedicated shrines. Visually he was portrayed front-on, in comparison to a profile view seen of Egyptian wall art. He was described as dwarf god, a warrior with a demonic quality to him and was a culmination of man and animal. As a warrior he was seen as a protector, initially especially for women and children but this role grew to include anyone who needed it.

For example, soldiers would especially call on Bes’ protection before battle, and his image would be carved into their shields. Similarly, women would carry amulets of the dwarf-god and tattoo his image on their bodies. Essentially, even though his veneration did not extend to temples and state worship, Bes and his image had great apotropaic qualities.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings: Ancient Egyptian Gods.

Weight 1.24 g
Dimensions W 0.7 x H 2.2 cm
Culture

Region

Faience

Egyptian Mythology

Reference: For a similar item, please see The British Museum, item UC52849

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