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* An Egyptian Faience Isis & Horus Amulet, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664-525 BCE

EA002-PB

of pale green faience, the goddess seated on a throne decorated with feather pattern, holding her child Horus in her lap, and wearing a long close-fitting sheath dress, broad beaded collar, and striated tripartite wig surmounted by a crown in the form of her hieroglyphic name-sign, the "throne."

One of the most celebrated goddesses in Egyptian mythology, Isis was the daughter of Seb, the earth god, and Nut, the goddess of the heavens. She was also both the wife and the brother of Osiris. Osiris was killed and dismembered by Seth, brother of Isis. In her myths, Isis searches for, retrieves, and miraculously reassembles the body of her dead husband. She then conceives and gives birth to her son Horus. To the Egyptians, Isis was the archetypal mother goddess. She was both a faithful wife and devoted, loving, mother; and this is the way she is depicted in this small statuette. Sitting on her throne, Isis holds the infant Horus to her breast supporting his head with her left hand. Despite its size and deeply human subject, the work displays all the hallmarks of Egyptian sculpture in its monumental frontality and serene dignity. In later Christian times, the image of Isis and the infant Horus became the model for the Madonna and child.

cf. Brooklyn Museum, Egyptian Glass and Glazes, no. 78, and Geschenk des Nils, no. 300.

Dimensions: Height: 6.03 cm (2 3/8 inches)

Condition: Complete with minor cosmetic restoration, overall in very good condition.

Provenance: Private Connecticut collection, acquired Ancient World Arts, Ltd. New York in the 1970's.


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