An Egyptian Faience Amulet of Bes, Third Intermediate Period - Late Period, ca. 1069 - 332 BCE
Object No: EA1815
Carved in deep blue faience, the protector god portrayed as a nude dwarf on an integrated base. His large feather crown highlighted with black markings 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 suspension loop 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: 8.5 cm (3.3 inches)
Condition: With minor losses to the surface, overall intact and in good condition overall.
Provenance: Bonhams, Antiquities, October 2007, lot 400 (property of Mrs A Davies, mostly acquired from Astarte Gallery in the 1970s and 1980s); acquired from Helios Antiquities, 2007.
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