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A LARGE EGYPTIAN GLASS SCARAB
PROPERTY FROM A MIDWESTERN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR
A LARGE EGYPTIAN GLASS SCARAB

THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD, DYNASTY XXI, REIGN OF SIAMUN, CIRCA 974 B.C.

Details
A LARGE EGYPTIAN GLASS SCARAB
THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD, DYNASTY XXI, REIGN OF SIAMUN, CIRCA 974 B.C.
Cobalt blue in color, formed upside-down in an open mold, the details of the carapace incised after the glass had cooled, then polished
3 1/16 in. (7.8 cm.) long
Provenance
Art Market, U.S. or Europe, circa 1969-early 1970s.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

Glass scarabs more than one inch in length from Egypt's dynastic period are extraordinarily rare. Among the handful known are single examples in the Israel Museum, the Toledo Museum and the British Museum. The scarab offered here is a twin in size, color, and fabric to the one in British Museum (EA 22872), originally dated by Cooney as "possibly New Kingdom," see no. 872, p. 79 in Cooney, Catalogue of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum IV, Glass. However, current scientific analysis now shows the British Museum scarab to be similar in composition to glass from the Third Intermediate Period from the "exceptionally well furnished tomb of Nesikhons, wife of the Theban high priest Pinodjem II." Nesikhons' death on 9 April 974 B.C. has been established from a docket found in her tomb, which gives a firm date to the objects in her tomb. The docket states: "Year five [of the Pharaoh Siamun], fourth month of the summer season [shemu], day 21, day of the burial of the Chief of the Ladies, Nesikhons, by the divine father of Amun, the overseer of the treasury, Djedkhonsefankh." See Schlick-Nolte and Werthmann, "Ancient Glass Vessels from the Burial of Nesikhons," in Journal of Glass Studies, 45.
Although not literally royal, Nesikhons was of the highest rank, as her husband was the most powerful man in the huge southern territories of Egypt, including the Sudan. Her own titles included "supreme chief of the harem ladies," which means that she led choristers and musicians in temple services. She was also overseer of religious life in the southern countries and (female) viceroy of Kush (Nubia).

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