A delicate steatite Egyptian scarab with incised features such as the clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. Decorated to the reverse, it has been incised with four hieroglyphs; a djed pillar, the collar of beads sign and two flanking ankh signs. The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.
Date: Circa 1850–1640 BC Period: Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12 - 13 Provenance: Ex private London based collection, AH, formerly in English family collections acquired from the 1920s - 1990s. Condition: Excellent. Some encrustation to hieroglyphs.
The specific hieroglyphs used for this scarab have been carefully chosen for their apotropaic values. They all have specific meanings which express goodwill and blessings upon the owner. The djed pillar stood for stability and durability and was associated with Osiris, the god of resurrection. The ankh symbol, another powerful sign used frequently, represented life. The collar sign, transliterated as ‘nbw’ was a bilateral sign that represented gold. It was associated with Horus and used as part of the pharaoh’s five royal titularies in the Horus of Gold title. Gold was also strongly associated with eternity.
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