An Exhibited Egyptian Faience Amulet of Thoth, 21st Dynasty, ca. 1069 - 945 BCE
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An exquisitely detailed openwork blue-green composition amulet depicting the god Thoth standing right, wearing a short pleated kilt and tripartite headdress, holding a scepter and an ankh, a horizontal suspension loop attached at the top.
Originally named Tehuti by the Egyptians, Thoth was given his better-known name by the Greeks. They linked him with their god Hermes, and like Hermes, he was considered to be the god of wisdom, writing, and invention. He was also the messenger and spokesman of the gods as well as the lord of the moon. He is represented as a man with the head of an ibis, which is often crowned by the crescent moon supporting the full moon disk and he frequently holds a writing palette. The baboon is also sacred to him; in Hermopolis, he merged with the local baboon god Hedj-wer. Thoth invented the arts and sciences, music, and magic, and was the god of learning, but above all, he was famed for being the creator of hieroglyphs, and was known as “the lord of holy words”. As the god who invented writing, he was the protector of scribes. Thoth was occasionally described as the tongue or heart of Ra. As the god of magic, he was called “the elder.”
Exhibited: Metropolitan Museum NY 1920-40, Boston Fine Art 1945-60 #231.21, Museum of Man CA 1968 #222.45 (part).
Dimensions: Height: 1 inch (2.5 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. MMA number in red pigment on the back of the amulet.
Provenance: Goddard Du Bois (b. 1869 – d. 1925) and Josephine Cook Du Bois (b. 1864 – d. 1961), New York, acquired in Egypt between 1900 and 1907, loaned & exhibited at Metropolitan Museum NY 1920-40, Boston Fine Art 1945-60 231.21 and Museum of Man #222.45.
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