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* An Egyptian Faience Amulet of Bes, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE

EA1901

of pale green faience, the protector god portrayed as a nude dwarf on an integrated base. His large feather crown surmounting grotesque facial features, with protruding tongue and the ears and mane of a lion. Shown standing on bandy legs with his hands on either side of his protruding belly, his tail between his legs, and a  loop for attachment behind.

Background: This dwarf-like, protective deity was very popular in ancient Egypt. Known as early as the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2000 BC), Bes was venerated as a protector of the home, family, and childbirth, and for that reason figures prominently in domestic magic and amulets. His close connection to all aspects of fertility and sexuality is demonstrated by the presence of his image in the "Birth-houses", shrines associated with temples of the Late and Greco-Roman periods. He also had a special relation to the goddess Hathor and performed in her retinue as a musician and dancer.

Dimensions: Height: 2.7 cm (1.1 inches)

Condition: With minor losses to the surface, overall intact and in good condition overall.

Provenance: Private Virginia collection, acquired from the London trade in the early 1990s.



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