An exhibited Egyptian Faience Taweret Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1293 BCE
An exhibited Egyptian Faience Taweret Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1293 BCE
An exhibited Egyptian Faience Taweret Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1293 BCE
An exhibited Egyptian Faience Taweret Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1293 BCE
An exhibited Egyptian Faience Taweret Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1293 BCE
An exhibited Egyptian Faience Taweret Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1293 BCE

An exhibited Egyptian Faience Taweret Amulet, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1293 BCE

EA23185

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Taweret (the Great One) was a goddess popular among women and was thought to protect them in childbirth.  Taweret and other closely related goddesses were created from a blending of lion, hippo, crocodile, and human attributes. The three animals were some of the fiercest species found in ancient Egypt and combining their strengths produced a most potent deity and therefore amulet. Taweret's particular responsibility was the protection of women during pregnancy and childbirth. She is often portrayed leaning on a sa symbol. Her representation was sometimes used on tomb walls or funerary equipment to protect the deceased during rebirth.

In this exceptional example, the goddess is shown in profile, striding forward on an integral plinth with the head and body of a hippopotamus, and a stylized back pillar representing the incised tail of a crocodile.  The goddess leans on the hieroglyphs for protection (sa) and life (ankh), both of which could also serve as amulets.  

Thought to instill fear in malevolent forces and ward them off, amulets bearing the likeness of Taweret were intended to prevent childhood illness and death. Likewise, her image appeared on many instruments used by midwives during childbirth, such as apotropaic ivory wands, beds, headrests, and cosmetic articles. Amulets of Taweret have been found placed on the diaphragm, stomach, and feet of mummies. This rare, bright blue faience amulet, is typical of high quality examples dating to Egypt's New Kingdom.

For a related example see:  Brooklyn Museum, accession number: 37.968E

Published:   Friedman, Florence Dunn, 'Gifts of the Nile : Ancient Egyptian Faience', T & H (1998), #155. Pg 158. and Gifts of the Nile, Minerva Vol 9, May - June 1998.

Exhibited: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, May 19, 1998-July 5, 1998; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I., Aug. 24, 1998-Jan. 3, 1999; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Tex., Jan. 31, 1999-Apr. 25, 1999

Medium: Faience

Dimensions:  Height: 1 3/8 inches (3.49 cm) 

Condition:  The amulet is intact and in excellent condition overall.  Custom mounted on black base.  An exceptional example.

Provenance:  JME private collection, New York, acquired Sotheby's NY, April 1994, thereafter private Virginia collection. 

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Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution, or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.

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