Egyptian Steatite Scarab with Recumbent Sphinx


A steatite Egyptian scarab with incised features such as the clypeus, prothorax and elytra marked by single lines. The scarab is decorated to the reverse, depicting a recumbent sphinx to the centre wearing the Atef crown. To the left is a uraeus cobra with outstretched wings in a sign of protection. A sun disk is placed behind the rearing cobra also. To the right of the recumbent sphinx is a seated figure with the head of a lioness, most likely the deity Sekhmet. The amulet is pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1070–664 BC
Period: Third Intermediate Period
Provenance: From the Gustave Mustaki collection, a collector of antiquities who amassed a large collection in Alexandria (Egypt).
Condition: Very fine. Small chip to the underside.


SKU: AH-886 Category: Tags: ,

The sphinx, a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head of a man, symbolised the king and pharaonic power. The rearing cobra with its wings outstretched offers protection and this is echoed by the seated figure of Sekhmet. The goddess, as a warrior deity, was seen as the protector of pharaohs. Sekhmet was also associated with Ra and was thus a solar deity. All three signs are thus connected, offering the protection of the pharaoh and referencing the apotropaic properties of the sun.

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

Weight 1.1 g
Dimensions L 1.2 x W 0.9 cm


Egyptian Mythology