This is an extremely rare glazed steatite fish plaque for Hatshepsut. The underside is inscribed Maatkare (Hatshepsut) living.
The top of the plaque is decorated with a depiction of a tilapia fish. The tilapia was a symbol of fertility and
rebirth since Predynastic times, based no doubt on the creature’s remarkable habit of taking its newly hatched young into
its mouth for shelter. The young fish appear to emerge from the parent’s mouth as though newly born, a phenomenon
the Egyptians interpreted as spontaneous generation. This recalled the god Atum, whose own act of spontaneous
generation initiated the creation of the Egyptian universe. The waters in which the fish swim are those of
the boundless, life-giving Nun, the primeval ocean.
For the same inscription on a scarab, please see:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Accession Number: 273239
Date: New Kingdom, early 18th Dynasty, circa 1479 -1458 B.C.
Size: ca. 1,5 cm; c. 0.6 inches
Provenance: private collection of Mrs. R. W., Washington (Name will provided to the buyer), she bought it 1962
from a well known antiquities dealer in California and since than in her posession
The authenticity of the item is unconditionally guaranteed.
This item is accompanied with an illustrated Certificate of Authenticity.