Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom, 13th Dynasty, ca. 1803 to 1649 BCE. A fine scarab amulet of an ovoid form, hand-carved from a pale-beige steatite. The scarab exhibits a folded wing carapace, a short head, spindly legs curled beneath its body, and a lengthwise, biconically-drilled suspension hole on the topside. The bottom presents an intricately-engraved standing image of Bes, the dwarf deity who was the protector of members of a household, particularly the women and children. Bes is defined by a rotund abdomen, delineated genitalia hanging between bent legs, hands held at his hips, and an expressive countenance surrounded by a bushy beard which is often interpreted as a lion's mane. Custom wooden display stand and putty imprint included. Size: 1.25" L x 0.9" W (3.2 cm x 2.3 cm); 3.1" H (7.9 cm) on included custom stand.
For a stylistically-similar example, please see The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, item code ICMS_IMJ_337815: http://www.museumsinisrael.gov.il/en/items/Pages/ItemCard.aspx?IdItem=ICMS_IMJ_337815
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Richard Wagner collection, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, acquired in the 1960s
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