Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom period, 18th Dynasty, reign of Thutmose III, ca. 1479 to 1425 BCE. A hand-carved steatite plaque bead of a rectangular form with an incised striation around the peripheries and a suspension hole oriented lengthwise through the body. The top face of the bead displays the cartouche of Pharaoh Thutmose III (also Thotmosis III or Thothmes, meaning "Thoth is born") that consists of the hieroglyphs for a sun disk, a board game, and a scarab, and the encircled cartouche is surmounted by two feathers of Ma'at. The reverse face features a pair of inversely corresponding crocodiles representative of Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility, rebirth and resurrection, and the overall strength of the pharaoh. Covered in layers of turquoise-hued glaze, this is a fine example of pharaonic adornments! Size: 0.7" L x 0.55" W (1.8 cm x 1.4 cm)
Provenance: ex-Phillip Mitry collection, noted antiquities dealer in Cairo Egypt, acquired prior to 1951 when he emigrated to the United States
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Minor abrasions and nicks to both faces and peripheries, with minor softening to some finer details, and fading to scattered areas of original glaze pigment, otherwise intact and excellent. Etched iconography is still visible and clear. Nice remains of original glaze throughout.