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A finely glazed rich turquoise faience amulet of the Egyptian goddess Tawaret (meaning 'she who is great'). She is depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus standing on two legs, the limbs and paws of a lion, pendulous female human breasts, and the back and tail of a Nile crocodile. Suspension loop on the top.

 

Late Dynastic-Ptolemaic period: Circa 6th-1st century B.C.

Condition: Very Fine; complete and intact.

Height 4.35 cms (1.7 ins).

 

Provenance: From a private collection acquired by the previous owner's father in the 1950's.

 

Reference: See Carol Andrews' Amulets of Ancient Egypt(London 1994) no. 39 for several examples of the type.

 

Tawaret was the goddess who protected women during childbirth. She was a household deity with no temple dedicated to her, but some form of shrine was in almost every house. Many women would have carried an amulet like this to give them help.

Egyptian faience amulet of Tawaret the pregnant hippopotamus