Early Dynastic Hardstone Beetle Amulet
Early Dynastic Period, Circa 3100-2900 BC
Description: Rare Egyptian black hardstone (steatite) amulet of a buprestidae beetle dating to the early Dynastic Period. Exquisitely shaped and carved, the back of the beetle in indicated by a series of horizontal incised lines at the head, a single meridian line the length of the back, and two flaring lines indicating wings. The underside is smooth and un-incised with a suspension hole roughly 1/3 of the way from the tip. Both top and underside share a wonderful symmetry making this an aesthetically appealing example of early Egyptian craftsmanship and attention to proportion.
Reference: A very rare type for which there is a related example in the British Museum, see Catalogue of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum V, Early Dynastic Objects by AJ Spencer, #558.
Height: 1.52 in. (3.9 cm)
Condition: Extremely fine example, complete and intact as shown.
Provenance: Formerly in a private German collection acquired 1955-1965. Also, ex-Sothebys, December 2001.
Price: $ 1,300