This semi-circular blue glazed faience amulet bead is known as a wallet bead, because the markings around the curved edge resemble stitching. It is based on a stylized cowrie which had amuletic significance because of its resemblance to the female genitalia, so when beads in its shape formed an element of a woman's girdle they were in exactly the right place to ward off evil influences from the relevant bodily part of the wearer, especially if she were pregnant.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 1.2 cm (0.47 inches)
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.