An Egyptian Glazed composition Fish Amulet, New Kingdom, ca. 1550 - 1069 BCE
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The Egyptians' ambivalent attitude towards certain animals is revealed particularly in how they regarded fish. These creatures formed a diet staple from earliest times, even for the dead. Paradoxically, most of the varieties eaten were also sacred to one deity or another or taboo. Fish amulets, therefore, might be a substitute for food offerings, such as this example. This may have also been the case when they first appeared in burials of the late Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period when the material is almost exclusively glazed composition. However, in New Kingdom foundation deposits, carnelian is more popular.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 2 cm (0.78 inches)
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.