An Egyptian Faience Amulet of Isis-Hathor, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
One of the most celebrated goddesses in Egyptian mythology, Isis was the daughter of Seb, the earth god, and Nut, the goddess of the heavens. She was also both the wife and the brother of Osiris. Osiris was killed and dismembered by Seth, brother of Isis. In her myths, Isis searches for, retrieves, and miraculously reassembles the body of her dead husband. She then conceives and gives birth to her son Horus. To the Egyptians, Isis was the archetypal mother goddess. She was both a faithful wife and devoted, loving, mother; and this is the way she is depicted in this small statuette. Sitting on her throne, Isis holds the infant Horus to her breast supporting his head with her left hand. Despite its size and deeply human subject, the work displays all the hallmarks of Egyptian sculpture in its monumental frontality and serene dignity. In later Christian times, the image of Isis and the infant Horus became the model for the Madonna and child.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 1 5/8 inches (4 cm)
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.
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