A large, green-glazed composition amulet of the naked dwarf god, Pataikos. The deity is depicted with a large bald head, on top of which sits a scarab – this is a typical adornment of Pataikos, as it represents rebirth and renewal. Snakes are grasped in each of Pataikos’ hands, in order to placate the threat presented by them. The reverse features an attachment loop.
Comes with a custom-made stand.
Date: Circa 664 - 332 BC Period: Late Period Condition: Fine condition; upper sections of legs repaired, lower sections missing.
The god Pataikos is so-called after a passage in Herodotus, which describes the protection-possessing power belonging to the image of a Phoenician dwarf. He was known as the son of Ptah, the craftsman’s god. In Old Kingdom scenes depicting daily life, dwarfs were always present among the workers in precious metal workshops. The finest images of Pataikos date to the Third Intermediate period, and later Pataikos figures often held snakes, which made them harmless to people, especially vulnerable children. Pataikos was very popular from the New Kingdom onwards, providing protection from creatures like snakes and crocodiles.
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