An Egyptian Faience Amulet of Bes, Third Intermediate Period - Late Period, ca. 1069 - 332 BCE
Carved in bright blue faience, the protector god is portrayed as a nude dwarf on an integrated base. His large feather crown surmounting grotesque facial features, with protruding tongue and the ears and mane of a lion, with bandy legs and hands on either side of his protruding belly.
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.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 1.5 cm (0.59 inch)
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.
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