Egyptian Faience Amulet, Oval Rosette

Date: c. 600 - 300 BCE
Late Period

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Item Description:

This faience amulet dates from the Late Period, the last era of native ancient Egyptian rulers before the nation was conquered by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE. It was acquired from a personal collection in Belguim by Classical Arts in Brussels, then purchased in Denmark by Halfnia Coins in the late 1990s. History Hoard acquired this amulet from another Danish coin dealer in early 2023.

Faience is a type of ceramic material known for its vibrant colors, especially turquoise blue. Made from common materials like quartz, alkaline salts, lime, and mineral-based colorants, it was considered magical and symbolic of rebirth in ancient Egypt. Faience was used to create a variety of objects, including sculptures, jewelry, and ritual items, and was often used to mimic rare semi-precious stones like turquoise. The production of faience, which first appeared at the end of the fifth millennium BCE, involved various manufacturing methods, including the efflorescence method, direct application, and cementation. Despite the challenges in shaping and firing faience due to its nonplastic properties, the ancient Egyptians mastered the art of creating faience objects, a testament to their deep understanding of the material and its firing methods.

In ancient Egypt, amulets were widely used and accessible to almost everyone, believed to possess positive properties that could be magically transferred to their owners. These objects, often made from faience or semi-precious stones, took various forms including animals, deities, symbols, and objects. The deity Bes represented household protection and was particularly common on amulets, as was Horus, one of the most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion.

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