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Egyptian Carnelian Snake-head amulet, Late Period, C. 664 - 332 BC.

Pegasus Gallery Antiquities


 A carnelian snake-head amulet, plano-convex in section.

The cobra, a common inhabitant of the Nile River's floodplain, has a deadly bite. Wearing an amulet in the form of a cobra's head would have been considered an effective way to prevent an attack, an event feared by both the living and the dead. Amulets like this one were made for use in the afterlife.

Egypt, Late Period, C. 664 - 332 BC.

Size: 2 cms.

Condition: Excellent.

Ref: Flinders Petrie, W.M. Amulets illustrated by the Egyptian Collection in University College, London, reprinted London, 1994 item 97(c"). 

Provenance: Ex Michael Nellist collection, Cornwall, UK; acquired on the UK art market 1970-2000. The Mike Nellist Collection. His interest in antiquity was piqued when, during the 1970s, he spent some time working in Israel and had the opportunity to visit Roman-period locations including Lake Galilee and Masada, the site of the famous Judaean revolt and subsequent massacre. He made his first purchases at that time and was soon building an enviable collection of artefacts. While at university, he was able to study human remains at first hand in conjunction with archaeological research and from there his passion for the human aspects of historical research was kindled. Now retired, Mike indulges one of his other passions – wildlife and nature photography.

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