A particularly finely worked green glazed composition amulet representing the god Pataikos, the bandy-legged dwarf shown naked with large janus head, both faces with finely drawn brows, defined eyes with pronounced cosmetic lines, and a cheerful smile. Shown with his hands resting on either side of his protruding midriff, an incised suspension loop at the back, the complete composition attests to the delicacy of the craftsmanship.
Pataikos is a dwarf god with apotropaic functions who was very popular with the people and exclusively used in amulet form. A protector from danger and possessing affinities with Bes and Horus the child (Harpocrates), he is so-named from a passage in Herodotus in which the Greek writer likens the statue of Hephaistos (Ptah) in Memphis to the figures of dwarves that adorned the prows of Phoenician triremes.
For a related example see Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY accession #90.6.96
Condition: very well executed with fine and detailed modeling of the body; pale green glaze well preserved; both lower legs and feet missing, loss of one ear, loss of fingers to the right hand, and minor chips to face and body. Custom mounted on original 19th/early 20th-century bobbin mount.
Dimensions: Height without mount: 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm). Height with mount: 4 1/4 in (10.75 cm)
Provenance: Late 19th/early 20th century English collection, then by descent. The amulet remains on the original antique mount.