An Egyptian Old Kingdom Gold Baboon Amulet
Egypt, Old Kingdom, ca. 2800 BC. Sacred to the god Thoth, seated on a fragmentary base and resting his forepaws on his knees, the tail curved around to the front, the facial features naturalistically modeled, his cape-like mass of fur finely incised, crowned with a solar-disk framed by cow horns, a large suspension loop on the reverse. A very fine hollow gold amulet. For related examples cf. Égypte, moments d'éternité, pp. 256-257, no. 170, and especially Burlington Fine Arts Exhibition, p. 66, no. 6, pl. XVIII (Earl of Carnarvon collection). For the role and significance of baboons in ancient Egypt see Houlihan, The Animal World of the Pharaohs, pp. 95-96, and 105-108.
Height: 1.5 cm - 1/2"
Provenance: Ex-Vernon Pick private collection, Ohio. Acquired in Switzerland in the 1950's and then by descent.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This piece has been thoroughly researched and evaluated by some of the top experts in the field; Christie's actually sold an Old Kingdom gold rabbit from the Vernon Pick Collection in 2009.
Minor loss to the tip of the headdress, eye inlays now missing, otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall. An extremely rare and important example.