An Egyptian Faience Amulet of Thoth, 21st Dynasty, ca. 1069 - 945 BCE


Deep blue-glazed faience amulet showing the ibis-headed god on an integral plinth with back pillar, striding forward, his hands fisted at his sides, and wearing a short pleated kilt and lunar headdress.

Originally named Tehuti by the Egyptians, Thoth was given his better known name by the Greeks. They linked him with their god Hermes, and like Hermes, he was considered to be the god of wisdom, writing and invention. He was also the messenger and spokesman of the gods and finally the lord of the moon. He is represented as a man with the head of an ibis, which is often crowned by the crescent moon supporting the full moon disk as shown in this example. The baboon is also sacred to him for, in Hermopolis, he merged with the local baboon god Hedj-wer. Thoth invented the arts and sciences, music, and magic, and was the god of learning, but above all, he was famed for being the creator of hieroglyphs, and was known as “the lord of holy words”. As the god who invented writing, he was the protector of scribes. Thoth was occasionally described as the tongue or heart of Ra. As the god of magic, he was called “the elder”.

Condition: Fine bright blue glaze with minor age appropriate wear and accumulation, crack to left arm, otherwise the amulet is intact and in very good condition overall.

Dimensions: Height: 2 1/8 in. (5.5 cm.)

Provenance: Robert L. McLaughlin collection, Chicago acquired from Marshall Field's, Chicago in 1960's and thereafter in a private Florida collection.

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