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* An Egyptian Blue Faience Isis Knot set as a pendant, New Kingdom, ca. 1550-1069 BCE

EJ2002

Of bright blue faience depicting the open knotted loop of cloth from which hangs a long sash flanked by a pair of loops, a lighter loop at the top and two loops at the bottom of the amulet for attachment, originally as part of a broad collar.

The Tyt-knot, also known as the girdle of Isis, has been described as "an open loop of material from whose bound lower end hangs a long sash flanked by two folded loops". Its name may derive from Egyptian tayt, meaning "shroud" or "curtain". Even in written sources the meaning and symbolism of this object seems to be similar to those of the ankh, and the sign is often translated as "life" or "welfare." Knots were widely used as amulets because the Egyptians believed they bound and released magic.

By the New Kingdom, the symbol was clearly associated with Isis, perhaps due to its frequent association with the djed pillar. The two symbols were therefore used to allude to Osiris and Isis and to the binary nature of life itself. The association of the sign with Isis leads to it being given the names, "the knot of Isis" (as it resembles the knot which secures the garments of the gods in many representations), "the girdle of Isis" and "the blood of Isis."

Dimensions: Length: 2.9 cm (1.14 inches). Strung on a 20-inch silver chain.

Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.

Provenance:  Ex. Sotheby Parke Bernet, March 20, 1968, lot #52 (part)


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