Egyptian Steatite Scarab with Falcon-Headed Figure

$487.85

A large ancient Egyptian steatite scarab from the Second Intermediate Period, with incised motif to the reverse. The obverse depicts stylised detailing to the obverse, including a carved head and indentations forming the humeral callosities. The reverse features a kneeling, falcon-headed figure, holding a palm branch, flanked above by two uraei. The falcon-headed figure most likely represents the god Horus.

The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1650–1550 BC
Period: Second Intermediate Period
Provenance: Ex private UK collection, Mr. DP, formerly acquired from a London dealership, BL, from 2004-2012.
Condition: Very fine condition to the obverse and reverse. Some blue glaze remaining to the head and sides.

SOLD

SKU: AH-1144 Category: Tags: , , , ,

The scarab beetle was an exceedingly popular symbol in the art of Ancient Egypt, thought to represent the sun god, Ra. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the scarab beetle rolling its ball of dung across the desert mirrored the journey of the sun across the sky from day to night. As the beetle laid its eggs within the dung, it became a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

Such scarabs, depicting a standing figure and flanked by the uraeus were exceedingly popular in the Second Intermediate Period, produced from 1700 – 1500 BC. This period is marked by Hyksos rule in Egypt and such scarabs show a definite Canaanite aesthetic. Whilst scarabs from this period had a limited specific meaning, the hieroglyphs depicted suggest artists were very much aware of their apotropaic values. Canaanite artists would have been very aware of the importance of depicting the god Horus.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings. 

Weight 3.12 g
Dimensions L 2.2 x W 1.5 cm
Culture

Egyptian Mythology

Region

Stone

Reference: For similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 15.3.155

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