Superb Egyptian Hardstone Wadj Sceptre


A superb example of a Wadj Sceptre in hardstone, with the stone aiming to imitate rolled papyrus. The scroll is widest at the top, where there is a neck below the loop for suspension. The base tapers into a softened point. Such an amulet may have been worn around the neck, or on a cord; alternatively, it may have been wrapped with a mummy during the embalming process.

Date: Circa 715 - 332 BC
Period: Late Dynastic Period
Condition: Very fine condition.


SKU: G-476 Category:

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 Wadj Sceptre is a rolled papyrus scroll, and in amulet form was thought to give the wearer eternal youth. The papyrus was used in the hieroglyphic script for the word ‘wadj’, meaning “fresh”, making it an appropriate talisman for the preservation of the body. The papyrus sceptre thus symbolised new life and regeneration, and so held particular significance for the deceased in the afterlife. Books 159 and 160 of the Book of the Dead refer to a Wadj amulet made of feldspar being placed at the throat of the mummy. However, amulets were made just as often in the more affordable medium of faience, which was green in colour to mimic feldspar. Feldspar was another precious stone used by the Egyptians, and its green colouring was symbolic of new life.

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

Weight 1.8 g
Dimensions L 3.00 cm




Reference: For similar see: The Met, Accession Number: 09.180.2479

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