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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Archive : Egyptian Faience Amulet of the Osirian Triad
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Egyptian Faience Amulet of the Osirian Triad - X.0005
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 664 BC to 525 BC
Dimensions: 1.75" (4.4cm) high
Collection: Egyptian
Style: Saite Period
Medium: Faience

Additional Information: SOLD. Art Logic--Safani Gallery Inc. (New York) 2003

Location: United States
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Faience, which dates back to pre- dynastic times, of 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.

This magnificent turquoise-hued faience plaque is of a type most often found resting on the lower torso of a mummy. Talismans of all sorts were traditionally placed along mummified bodies, in some cases to replace organs that were removed, in other cases merely to ward off evil and protect the spirit of the deceased, as is likely the case with this plaque. Rendered in high relief, the three gods that comprise the Osirian triad decorate this piece. Harpokrates, the infant Horus, stands in the center wearing his traditional sidelock, flanked by Isis on the left and Nephthys on the right, both of with whom he holds hands. Isis was the sister/wife of Osiris and the mother of Harpokrates by Osiris, after his resurrection. Nephthys was the sister of Osiris and Isis. As the god who conquered death, Osiris offered hope of an afterlife to mankind. This amulet represents the god and goddesses closest to Osiris in the hopes that the deceased individual upon whom this work was bestowed would be resurrected in the next world like the mighty god himself.
- (X.0005)


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