An Egyptian Faience Amulet for Imsety, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
This amulet of blue faience represents the human-headed god Imsety, one of the four sons of Horus, in profile and pierced for attachment.
Many ancient Egyptian deities were concerned with the protection of the deceased, but four are particularly interesting. They are the Sons of Horus, whose existence dates back at least to the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC). Over time each of the sons of Horus, with their distinctive heads, became identified as protecting one of the internal organs (viscera) removed from the body during the mummification process. The stomach was protected by Duamutef (jackal), the liver by Imsety (human), the lungs by Hapy (baboon), and the intestines by Qebehsenuef (falcon).
For a short period in the Twenty-first Dynasty (about 1069-945 BC), it became the custom to return the mummified viscera to the body. Around this time amulets in the form of the four Sons of Horus begin to be placed with the viscera inside the mummy. However, most examples in amulet form date to much later, when they are sewn onto the bead nets that were used to cover the body.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm)
Provenance: Ex collection of Herb Goldfarb, New York. Mr. Goldfarb was the owner of Aladdin's Antiques in Brooklyn, New York in the 1950's to 1969 before moving from New York City and opening a smaller antique shop.