Bes Amulet Dress Pin


A polychrome faience amulet of the dwarf god, Bes, fashioned as a modern dress pin. Featuring a turquoise blue satin glaze with raised accents in a yellow glaze. Frontal-facing and in typical position, with hands on the hips and grimace, Bes wears a plumed headdress, and is accompanied by a set of red plumes below his feet. The amulet is moulded into a metal casing with a pin attachment on the reverse. Pierced horizontally for suspension.

Date: Circa 664 BC - 1st Century AD
Period: Late Period - Roman Period
Condition: Very Fine Condition


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 13.8 g
Dimensions L 5.2 x W 1.1 cm

Egyptian Mythology


, ,


Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 10.130.1991

You may also like…