Egyptian Faience Rectangular Plaque Amulet for Thutmose IV and Amun-Ra
A janiform Egyptian faience plaque amulet decorated on both sides and dedicated to both Thutmose IV and the god Amun. On one side there is a prominent figure, a pharaoh wearing the blue crown of Egypt, known as a khepresh. He holds in his left hand the curved heka scepter and in his left hand, the flail, known as the nekhakha. An oval cartouche sits in the bottom right corner, framing the hieroglyphs Neb-Kheper-Re, the throne name of Thutmose IV. Two additional signs appear in the top right corner, the signs ‘ntr’ and ‘nfr’ which translate as ‘Perfect god’.
The second scene features a large bird, most likely a goose at its centre. Another oval cartouche fills the right hand side and is again dedicated to Thutmose IV. Additional hieroglyphs have been inscribed to the left side, situated behind the goose. These include the draftboard, feather and water ripple signs that combine to transliterate as ‘a-mn-n’, thus Amun. Two dots above the goose’s tail feathers represent sun disks and thus the god Ra.
The amulet is pierced for suspension.
Circa 1400–1390 BCPeriod:
New Kingdom Period, Dynasty 18, reign of Thutmose IV.Provenance:
Ex private London based collection, AH, formerly in English family collections acquired from the 1920s - 1990s.Condition:
Excellent. A highly unusual piece with fantastic detailing.
Thutmosis IV was the son of Amenhotep II and grandson to the great Thutmosis III. He had a brief reign of 10 years and his greatest accomplishments were the restoration of the Great Sphinx of Giza and the subsequent commissioning of the Dream Stele. Thutmosis IV shares the same prenomen as his illustrious grandfather, who was particularly revered. The sharing of names was common for pharaoh’s looking to enhance their own image. Their cartouches differ with the addition of three dots for Thutmose IV, which can be seen prominently to the goose side of the amulet.
The goose was considered a sacred animal of the god Amun, whose list of epithets included ‘the great cackler’. Amun was considered a primeval god and a symbol of creative force. He rose to prominence during the Eleventh Dynasty, becoming the principal deity of Thebes. It wasn’t until the expulsion of the Hyksos and the establishment of the New Kingdom did his popularity increase dramatically.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.