A royal Egyptian Steatite Fish Amulet, 18th Dynasty, reign of Thutmose III, ca. 1479-26 BCE
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well carved scaraboid, carved from steatite; both sides bear an incised decoration; the upper convex side depicts the representation of a tilapia fish, the flat underside with the cartouche of Thutmose III. Fish amulets, like this nekhau, were given to young girls to wear as a charm against drowning. Some scholars suggest they functioned as “reminders of a watery environment,” to give the owner security, according to the catalog notes, “but it is much more likely that the amulet allowed the wearer to acquire the abilities of a fish, and therefore survival, if she happened to fall into the water.”
Dimensions: length 5/8 inch (2 cm)
Condition: Pierced for attachment, with wear to the attachment, the amulet is intact and in very good condition overall. With old original collection label attached but not shown in photos.
Provenance: Private collection of Dr. Charles Hazzi, (1926 - 2015), Cairo: acquired prior to 1965. Graduated from Cairo University's Kas Al Ainy School of Medicine in 1948. Once in the US, was in residency at North Shore Hospital from 1965 to 1967 and then joined NYU Medical Center. His patients spanned the spectrum from national and international political figures and entertainers to those unable to afford a doctor. Select pieces from the Hazzi collection were acquired by Sands of Time Antiquities in 2015.