A large Egyptian Steatite Plaque of the god Bes, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
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On one side of this large, finely carved rectangular plaque is the face of the god Bes, protector of home, family, and childbirth, and for that reason, he 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. Here, the god is portrayed with his typical grotesque features, feather crown, and lion's mane, whereas the reverse is inscribed with double cobras to further enforce the protection. The plaque is pierced vertically for attachment.
Condition: The plaque is intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/8 inches (2.7 cm), Width: 7/8 inch (2.2 cm)
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.