Egyptian Turquoise-Glazed Steatite Scaraboid of a Man
A delicate and highly detailed turquoise glazed steatite scaraboid moulded into the figure of a squatting man. The figure appears with knees bent, wearing a striated kilt and overshirt. His head turns to the right and he wears a full wig, with additional detailing to the hair via incised lines. An almond shaped oval is used to indicate his eye. To the reverse is an inscribed depiction of the goddess Hathor, in the form of a sistrum, with flanking uraei to either side. An exceptionally rare scaraboid of exceptional quality. The scaraboid is pierced longitudinally for suspension.
Date: Circa 1539–1292 BC Period: New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty Provenance: Ex private London based collection, AH, formerly in English family collections acquired from the 1920s - 1990s. Condition: Excellent. Very clear and precise hieroglyphs and detailing of the figure.
To the reverse we see a stylised figure which strongly resembles the Egyptian representation of the goddess Hathor. Iconographically she was usually depicted as a woman with the head, or ears of a cow. She is occasionally depicted as a full cow. Within the Egyptian pantheon, she was considered a primal goddess and the goddess of joy, music, feminine love and motherhood. On scarabs she is often associated with the sistrum, a musical instrument that was shaken, and appears frontally with a headdress in such a form. In Egyptian iconography the headdress is often seen as a tall striated element, whilst Canaanite depictions include additional plumage. It is also common to see uraei flanking her profile.
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