Ancient Egyptian Polished Obsidian Double Plumes Amulet


An Egyptian polished obsidian amulet in the form of a double ostrich feather, featuring a vertical central groove delineating the two plumes on the flat obverse. The tip of the feathers are pointed and slightly curled over. To the reverse is an integral rectangular protrusion with a narrow perforation for suspension.

Date: Circa 664-332 BC
Period: Late Period
Provenance: From an early 20th century collection, Home Counties, UK, 1930-1940s.
Condition: Very fine condition. Slight scratches to the front.

In stock

SKU: CY-67 Category: Tags: ,

The Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. They were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many of the amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife. The wearer of a double plumes ostrich amulet would have been imbued with divine dignity and majesty.

Obsidian was first used during the Early Dynastic period for amulets and continued to be used for scarabs and amulets. The stone was not found in Egypt, and therefore, most likely sourced from Ethiopia and in later times, the Aegean. During the Late Period burials, the stone was frequently used for the ‘two fingers’ amulet which was placed on the mummy at the point of incision, from where the deceased’s organs were removed. The use of obsidian would suggest that it symbolised regeneration.

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

Weight 3.7 g
Dimensions L 2.9 x W 1.8 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta, object number 1921.082.

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