An Egyptian Superb Azure Blue Glazed Wadj Amulet, Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21, ca. 1069 - 945 BCE
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Known in Egyptian as a wadj, this papyrus-column amulet is made from faience with a superb bright blue/green glaze, and has a pierced suspension ring at the top. Green fresh plant life represented youthfulness, new life and rebirth to the Egyptians, and the presence of this particular amulet on the body was to ensure that the deceased remained forever young, and was not injured. Both Chapters 159 and 160 concern a papyrus column of feldspar to be placed at the throat of the deceased: 'If it is sound, I am healthy; if it is undamaged, I am uninjured; if it is not struck, I am unwounded . .. my limbs shall not become dried out.'
A papyrus scepter was often carried by goddesses and the plant was the emblem of Lower Egypt and its patroness Wadjyt; hence its amuletic form not only guaranteed the wearer rejuvenation, it also linked them with the divine and in particular one of the great protective goddesses.
Condition: Professionally rejoined from two pieces, the amulet is complete and in very good condition overall. Superb bright blue glaze.
Dimensions: Height: 2 3/4 inches (6.9 cm)
Provenance: Private Virginia collection, acquired from Royal Athena Gallery, NYC, 2014, JME collection, NY, acquired Bonhams, London, Dec 1993, previously a private English collection, acquired in the 1930s.