Egyptian Steatite Scarab Amulet with Royal Cartouche
A steatite Egyptian scarab beetle amulet with incised features such as clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. The reverse is detailed with various hieroglyphs, including a large oval cartouche and a female seated figure. The syllabic hieroglyphs of the cartouche read as Men-Kheper- Re, the throne name of Thutmosis III. The seated figure could possibly represent the goddess of truth, Ma’at. The scarab is pierced at each end to allow for suspension.
Date: Circa 1550 - 1070 BC Period: New Kingdom Period Provenance: From the Gustave Mustaki collection, a collector of antiquities who amassed a large collection in Alexandria (Egypt). Condition: Very fine. Some encrustation.
The hieroglyphs in the oval cartouche, as seen in many similar examples, are often interpreted as a debased version of pharaohs’ names. However, not all scarabs bearing a royal name are contemporaneous to the ruling pharaoh. Some kings were held in particularly high regard, and thus their name appears on scarabs hundreds of years after their reign. Thutmosis III of Dynasty XVIII was particularly honoured in this way, with his praenomen, Men-Kheper-Re, used on scarabs for a period of circa 1000 years. Men-Kheper-Re translates as ‘Established by the image of Re’.
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