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An Egyptian glazed Steatite Amulet of a Fly, New Kingdom, 1539-1077 BC

EA1542

The most characteristic fly amulets are those made of gold during the New Kingdom, forming part of an honorific award which originally rewarded military valor.  However, the earliest examples usually made from serpentine, date back to preDynastic times.  The symbolism of the fly as amulet rather than an award is obscure;  perhaps the wearer hoped to emulate its renowned fecundity; perhaps it was purely apotropaic, intended to keep at bay this most persistent and prevalent of Egyptian insects.   Of blue-glazed steatite, this example features finely incised detail to the head and wings and, given its diminutive size, probably formed part of a talismanic necklace.

cf: Andrews, Carol 'Amulets of Ancient Egypt', University of Texas Press (1994), pg 62-63.

Dimensions: Height: 1/4 x 1/4 in. (0.6 x 0.6 cm)

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance:  Private NY collection, acquired in the 1990's


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