Scarab with Hathor-headed sistrum
Measurement: 1.4 x 1 x .5 cm
Material/colour: glazed steatite, remains of blue glaze visible on back
Technique: precise and elegant stone carving; glazed; pierced lengthwise.
Condition: Only a small patch of original glaze remains; details of the carving are clear and undamaged.
Date: Middle Kingdom
Provenance: Golden Chariot; original collection of Gustav Jecquier, reportedly from Sakkara.
Identification and Interpretation: Hathor-headed sistrum flanked by uraei (cobras) crowned by sundisks. Both the sistrum and the uraei are symbols of female divine power. Hathor, in her role as underworld goddess and Eye of Re, protects the deceased and welcome him or her into the Afterlife.
Workmanship: Fine details on the clypeus and arms of the beetle, and careful and well balanced carving of sistrum and uraei on back.
Function and Meaning: Hathor sistrum scarabs were probably used in a funerary context.
Parallels: for sistrum see Daphne Ben-Tor, The Scarab, page 70-71, cat. Number 48, 38.582, cat numb 49, 76.31.311, and cat. Numb 50, private collection Jerusalem; and page 75, catalogue number 20, 76.31.4553.