Egypt, Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, ca. 664 to 30 BCE. An ornate, bright blue faience scarab with highly detailed wings and body. All are pierced for suspension in multiple places, because this was made to be sewn onto a garment, probably a mummy's wrappings. Size of full piece on stand: 7.5" W x 4.65" H (19 cm x 11.8 cm); size of body: 1.8" W x 2.55" H (4.6 cm x 6.5 cm); size of one wing: 2.9" W x 1.3" H (7.4 cm x 3.3 cm).
Amulets of the scarab were hugely popular for over a thousand years in ancient Egypt, a symbol with staying power similar to that of the Christian cross; they seem to have been worn and carried by the living, and by the time of the Late Period, they had also become part of the increasingly elaborate battery of items to be placed into graves for protection of the dead. The blue faience symbolized the regenerative powers of the Nile.
Provenance: Ex-Matrisciano Collection, California
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