A turquoise glazed steatite Egyptian scarab decorated to the reverse with hieroglyphs. The front features a detailed head and clypeus. The elytra (wing coverings) are divided by an incised vertical line down the centre of the body, whilst a similar horizontal line marks the thorax. The reverse is decorated with deeply incised scroll patterns. The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.
Date: Circa 1550 - 1070 BC Period: New Kingdom Provenance: Ex private London based collection, AH, formerly in English family collections acquired from the 1920s - 1990s. Condition: Very good condition.
Scarabs with elaborate scroll and spiral motifs became exceedingly popular during the Middle Kingdom, especially towards the end of the 12th dynasty and into the 13th. Their meaning and inspiration is still ambiguous but their appeal was not. They added a further decorative element to an apotropaic amulet. New Kingdom scarabs of this type, including a scroll or geometric pattern, were an imitation of the earlier Middle Kingdom type.
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