Griffin Gallery Antiquities

Egyptian Stele Fragment of Dwarf God Bes


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1196162

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A stucco stele fragment of the Egyptian deity Bes. With bulbous eyes and grotesque features he holds a knife overhead as he guards against evil spirits and misfortunes. 26th Dynasty (657 - 525 BCE) Vivid remains of pigment and in excellent condition. 8 3/4" high. It was during the Ptolemaic Period that the worship of Bes reached it height in Egypt. He appears in numerous temple reliefs, thousands of amulets and charms were made in his image, and there were even oracles of Bes to allow people to benefit from his wisdom. He was given a new wife, known as Beset, who was a female version of himself ."Incubation" or Bes chambers were constructed with images of Bes and a naked goddess (most likely Beset) painted on the walls. It is thought that these chambers were meant to promote healing, remedy certain fertility problems or promote erotic dreams. The Romans also loved Bes and depicted him dressed as a legionnaire. Ex: Aweidah Gallery, Jerusalem