An Egyptian Faience Amulet of the God Bes, Late Period, ca. 700 - 332 BCE
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of glazed faience of deep turquoise blue, the protector god shown full-faced with grotesque mask-like facial features surrounded by a lion's mane, with protruding ears. Pierced for attachment and mounted on an adjustable 18" modern chain of 18K yellow gold.
Background: This dwarf-like, protective deity was very popular in ancient Egypt. Known as early as the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2000 BCE), 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: 3/4 inch (2 cm). Mounted as a pendant on an adjustable 18-inch modern chain of 18K yellow gold.
Condition: Intact and in good condition overall.
Provenance: S. Ripstein private collection, acquired from Antiquarium, NYC in 1994.