Faience Amulet Depicting a Lion - X.0115 - For Sale

Faience Amulet Depicting a Lion - X.0115
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Origin: Egypt
Circa: 380 BC to 200 BC
Dimensions: 3" (7.6cm) depth
Collection: Egyptian
Style: 30th Dynasty/Early Ptolemaic Period
Medium: Faience
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.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 was 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 a important class of Ancient Egyptian art that furthers our understanding of their complex religious beliefs.The lion is a symbol of strength and ferocity. The largest of the cat family, this animal is known as the “king of the beasts.” They are equally feared and respected for their power, speed, and intimidating growl. Kings and rulers have associated themselves with this noble creature since the days of antiquity, as this gorgeous blue/green faience amulet attests to. The lion is depicted lying down on a rectangular base that is slightly rounded at the back. He holds his forepaws in front of his body and his tail curls around his right hind leg, in a classic pose recalling a royal sphinx, only without the human head. The work is expertly modeled and finely detailed, specifically the stylized mane with incised lines replicating the texture of fur and the powerful musculature evident in the lion’s ribcage. A ribbed suspension loop connected to the shoulders would have allowed this work to be worn, hanging from a necklace, bringing the wearer good luck and aversion to evil. - (X.0115)

Ancient Egyptian
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Seller Details :
Barakat Gallery
405 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills
Contact Details :
Email : barakat@barakatgallery.com
Phone : 310.859.8408

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