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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Antiquities by Type| ▸ |Amulets||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Amulets

An amulet is a talisman or charm worn by an individual, and believed to have magical powers. Three of the four Egyptian words for amulet come from a word meaning "to guard and protect." Mesopotamian amulets were carved in stone in the forms of animals. Luristan and Amlash produced bronze amuletic animals in the 9th-7th century B.C. Egyptian amulets are the most collected and available of ancient amulets. They were produced from the Pre-Dynastic period through Roman times, a period of about 4500 years, intended to protect the individual both in this life and in the afterlife. Shell and ivory Pre-Dynastic amulets were made depicting hippopotami, antelope heads, lions, dogs, and bulls. By the end of this period, stone amulets were commonly adorned. From the Old Kingdom on, a vast array of amulets of gods, goddess, and sacred animals were produced in many media, including faience. Amulets of protection were inanimate forms such as Ujat, the eye of Horus. The Ujat was used to ward off evil, and for healing. Amulets of assimilation were produced to help the wearer take on qualities that the amulet represented. For example, a hare amulet would confer swiftness of movement and keenness of senses. Amulets of power were inanimate objects that conveyed royal and divine powers, and cosmic associations. A Crown of Lower Egypt amulet, for example, imbued authority and power. The amulets of offerings, possessions, and property acted as the substitutes for the wearer in the afterlife. Roman amulets are often bronze. They depict gods, goddesses, and the erotic phallus, a symbol of fertility worn by the military for good luck. Faience amulets were produced in Roman Egypt and Roman Syria as well. Parthian bronze gazelle amulets were found in the excavations at Dura Europus.

Egyptian, Late Period, Uzat, Eye of Horus Amulet, 712 - 332 B.C.

|Amulets|, |Egyptian,| |Late| |Period,| |Uzat,| |Eye| |of| |Horus| |Amulet,| |712| |-| |332| |B.C.|
The Uzat was the eye of Horus. It warded off evil spirits. In the Osiris myth, Horus offered the healed eye to his dead father; so powerful was the charm that he was restored to life.
AS110914. Egyptian, Uzat amulet; see Petrie Amulets 138; carved steatite, traces of turquoise glaze, pierced, 9.9 x 7.0 mm, near Choice, crude simple form, glaze mostly gone white, 712 B.C. - 364 A.D.; from Alex G. Malloy; $30.00 SALE PRICE $27.00


Egyptian, New Kingdom, Carved Aqua Blue Stone Frog Amulet, 1567 - 1085 B.C.

|Amulets|, |Egyptian,| |New| |Kingdom,| |Carved| |Aqua| |Blue| |Stone| |Frog| |Amulet,| |1567| |-| |1085| |B.C.|
The frog was a symbol of the Egyptian goddess of birth, Heget. Her priestesses were midwives and women often wore frog amulets during childbirth. Heget was said to have breathed life in to the new body of Horus and some of her amulets include the phrase, "I am the resurrection." Curiously, early Christians adopted the frog as a symbol of Christ's resurrection.
AS34523. Egyptian, frog amulet; see Petrie Amulets 18; semi-clear aqua blue stone, seated, holed for suspension, 1.6 cm (5/8") long, Superb, 1567 - 1085 B.C.; very rare; SOLD


Egyptian, Late Period, Frog Amulet, 664 - 332 B.C.

|Amulets|, |Egyptian,| |Late| |Period,| |Frog| |Amulet,| |664| |-| |332| |B.C.|
The frog was a symbol of the Egyptian goddess of birth, Heget. Her priestesses were midwives and women often wore frog amulets during childbirth. Heget was said to have breathed life in to the new body of Horus and some of her amulets include the phrase, "I am the resurrection." Curiously, early Christians adopted the frog as a symbol of Christ's resurrection.
AS34493. Alabaster frog amulet (for childbirth?); see Petrie Amulets 18; carved alabaster, on pedestal; 2 cm (3/4") tall and 2 cm (3/4") long, Superb, 664 - 332 B.C.; rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Alex G. Malloy, Inc. Egyptian Art and Artifacts, Summer 1980. (New York, 1980).
Andrews, C. Amulets of Ancient Egypt. (Bath, 1998).
Babelon, E. & J. Blanchet. Catalogue des bronzes antiques de la Bibliotheque National. (Paris, 1895).
Blanchard, R. Handbook of Egyptian Gods and Mummy Amulets. (Cairo, 1909).
Comstock, M. & C. Vermeule. Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1971).
Goldstein, S. Pre-Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass. (Corning, 1979).
Petrie, F. Amulets, illustrated by the Egyptian Collection in University College. (London, 1914).
Petrie, F., G. Brunton & M. Murray. Lahun II. (London, 1923).
Rowe, A. A Catalogue of Egyptian Scarabs, Scaraboids, Seals and Amulets in the Palestine Archeological Museum. (Cairo, 1936).
Samson, J. Amarna, City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Key Pieces from the Petrie Collection. (London, 1972).
Stern, M. Early Glass of the Ancient World, 1600 B.C. - A.D. 50, Ernesto Wolf Collection. (Ostfildern-Ruit, 1994).
Stern, M. Roman, Byzantine, and Early Medieval Glass, 10 BCE - 700 CE, Ernesto Wolf Collection.(Ostfildern-Ruit, 2001).
Whitehouse, D. Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Three. (Rochester, 1997).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
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