Barakat Gallery
Login | Register | User Services | Search | Newsletter Sign-up
Barakat Gallery
HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Egyptian Amulets : Egyptian Faience Amulet of Thoth
Click to view original image.
Egyptian Faience Amulet of Thoth - X.0324
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 664 BC to 525 BC

Collection: Egyptian
Medium: Faience

£6,000.00
Location: Great Britain
Purchase
Currency Converter
Place On Hold
Ask a Question
Email to a Friend
Previous Item
Next Item
Photo Gallery
Click photo to change image.
Print image
Description
The 26th Dynasty, also known as the Saite Period, is traditionally placed by scholars at the end of the Third Intermediate Period or at the beginning of the Late Dynastic Period. In either case, the Saite Period rose from the ashes of a decentralized Egyptian state that had been ravaged by foreign occupation. Supported by the assistance of a powerful family centered in the Delta town of Sais, the Assyrians finally drove the Nubians out of Egypt. At the close of this campaign, Ashurbanipal’s kingdom was at the height of its power; however, due to civil strife back east, he was forced to withdraw his forces from Egypt. Psamtik I, a member of the family from Sais, seized this opportunity to assert his authority over the entire Nile Valley and found his own dynasty, the 26th of Egyptian history. Known as the Saite Period due to the importance of the capital city Sais, the 26th Dynasty, like many before it, sought to emulate the artistic styles of past pharaoh in order to bolster their own claims to power and legitimize their authority.

Faience, which dates back to predynastic times, at least 5,000 years, is a glasslike non-clay substance made of materials common to Egypt: ground quartz, crushed quartz pebbles, flint, a soluble salt-like baking soda, lime and ground copper, which provided the characteristic color. The dried objects went into kilns looking pale and colorless but emerged a sparkling "Egyptian blue." Called tjehnet by the Ancient Egyptians, meaning that which is brilliant or scintillating, faience was thought to be filled with the undying light of the sun, moon and stars and was symbolic of rebirth. Ancient Egyptians believed the small blue-green objects helped prepare them for eternity in the afterlife.

The first examples of amulets appeared in Ancient Egypt as early as 4000 B.C. Believed to possess magical powers that protected the wearer or bestowed upon the properties they symbolized, amulets were worn both by the living as well as the dead. Throughout their evolution, talismans were crafted from a variety of materials including precious metals such as gold and silver, semiprecious stone like jasper and carnelian, as well as other more affordable glazed compositions such as faience. The particular powers of an individual amulet were based upon its specific shape, although the material and even the color of the charm could affect its magical abilities. While many of the amulets created to be worn by the living could also be worn after death, there also existed a specific group of charms that were made specifically to be placed upon the mummified remains of the deceased. All together, amulets represent an important class of Ancient Egyptian art that furthers our understanding of their complex religious beliefs.

The ibis was a sacred bird in Ancient Egyptian mythology, most closely identified with the moon god Thoth, the messanger of the sun god Ra, who is often represented as an ibis-headed man or as a baboon. The name “Thoth” is actually the Greek term used to refer to this deity, whom the Greeks closely identified with Hermes, their messenger to the gods. Thoth, like Hermes, was credited as the inventor of astronomy, writing, and mathmatics. He presided over scribes and knowledge, as has been described in ancient text as a conciliator among the gods whose words were able to bring order to the warring factions of Egypt. In this charming amulet, Thoth is represented as an ibis-headed man standing with one leg forward upon a low rectangular base with his arms clutched against his sides. It is possible that this amulet was once worn by a scribe who hoped to invoke the favor of this powerful deity.
- (X.0324)

 

Home About Us Help Contact Us Services Publications Search
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Security

Copyright (c) 2000-2017 by Barakat, Inc. All Rights Reserved

contact-form@barakatgallery.com - TEL 310.859.8408 - FAX 310.276.1346

coldfusion hosting