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  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)

  • Date:

    c. 664 BC - 30 BC (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved malachite

  • Credit Line:

    Given by University College London

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Carved malachite amulet in the form of a scarab, pierced longitudinally for attachment to either a ring or necklace. The back has a single line division between pronotum and elytra, and the wings are marked with striated lines. The legs are shallowly and stylistically carved. There is no inscription on the underside.

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)


c. 664 BC - 30 BC (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved malachite


Height: 1 cm, Length: 1.6 cm, Width: 1 cm

Object history note

CIRC.26-1935 to CIRC.30-1935 were a collection of five groups of items, mounted on boards, given to the V&A by University College London in 1935. Each was intended to demonstrate the tradition of a type of Egyptian manufacture - slate palettes, amulets, necklaces and bracelets etc, typically from grave contexts.

Descriptive line

Scarab amulet, malachite, possibly Late or Ptolemaic Period

Labels and date

Amulets in various materials and of various dates.

From the earliest times, the Egyptians wore small objects of great variety upon their person so as to protect themselves against evil influences and to invoke the help of benign deities. The examples here range from the Middle Kingdom (circa 2000 B.C.) to the Ptolemaic Period (332-30 B.C.), and are made of the following materials: glazed and glass ware, red jasper, granite and serpentine.

The commonest example is the sacred eye of Horus, represented in many forms and sizes, and made to be worn either on a necklace or on the finger as a ring. The eye symbolises the watching protection of Horus on his dead father Osiris with whom the deceased was considered to be identical. Two good specimens from the XVIIIth Dynasty (circa 1400 B.C.) are shown.

Other amulets are: the Hippopotamus Goddess of women and child-birth Thoueris; Bes, demi-god of the house; Nephtys, sister of Isis; the cat sacred to the Goddess Bast; the Hawk of the Sun-God; the sacred Ram of Amen, King of the Gods; the papyrus sceptre which stands for prosperity; the ankh or sign of life; the nefer sign of good luck and beauty; the Ded-pillar of stability; and the crocodile emblem of Sobek. Scarab beetles from mummies of the XXVIth Dynasty-Ptolemaic Period (663 B.C.-330 B.C.).

Given by University College, London






Metalwork Collection

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