Egyptian Steatite Scarab with Scrolls

£ 195.00

A delicate ancient Egyptian steatite scarab from the Middle Kingdom, with incised motif to the reverse. The obverse is simple in nature, with a vaguely moulded shape to the clypeus and head. Incised indentations mark the humeral callosities. The reverse features a stylised floral scroll pattern to the centre. Flanking the central motif are two ‘ḥm’ signs, described as a club and translates as ‘majesty’. Framing scroll patterns complete the scene, inscribed to the top and bottom of the scarab.

The scarab has been pierced longitudinally for suspension.

Date: Circa 1850–1670 BC
Period: Middle Kingdom
Provenance: Ex major S.M., London, Collection 1970-2010.
Condition: Very fine condition. Professionally repaired.


SKU: AH-1048 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.

Floral motifs and scroll patterns were exceedingly common on Middle Kingdom scarabs. Their exact meaning is still unclear, if there was one, however they acted as beautiful filler ornaments. They were especially popular within the 12th and 13th Dynasties and continued to be used into the Hyksos period and New Kingdom. The detailing to the anatomy of the scarab would suggest an earlier date however.

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

Weight 1.49 g
Dimensions L 1.7 x W 1.1 cm