Egyptian steatite 'Lion-hunt' scarab of Amenhotep III

14197. Egyptian steatite 'Lion-hunt' scarab of Amenhotep III

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, circa 1390-1352 BC.

Large sacred beetle, symbolic for life, well rendered in sculptural form with clearly defined raised head and delineated limbs. Pierced for attachment. The underside inscribed with eight lines of hieroglyphic text from the famous Lion Hunt as follows:
(1) Live the Horus ‘Strong Bull Appearing in Truth,’ (2) the Two Ladies ‘Who Establishes Laws and Pacifies the Two Lands,' (3) the Gold Horus 'Great of Scimitar, Who Smites the Asiatics,' King of Upper and Lower Egypt (4) Nebmaatre, son of Re Amunhotep Ruler of Thebes, given life, (5) and the King’s Wife Tiye, may she live! Accounting of the lions (6) that His Majesty brought back by shooting himself, starting (7) from regnal year 1 down to regnal year 10: (8) 102 fierce lions.

Lion-hunt scarabs were one of five groups of commemorative scarabs issued in the reign of Amenhotep III. It is thought that they served as a means of promoting the achievements and might of the king. For a discussion on the significance of the Lion-hunt scarab group, cf. D Ben-Tor, The Scarab. A Reflection of Ancient Egypt, (Tel Aviv 1989), p.21.

Condition: Good as shown, edge and surface wear to top. Good clear crisp text to base. There is an old oxidized wire loop around the piece put there and hung by the previous owner. Size Base: 3-1/8 inches L. x 2-1/4 inches wide

Provenance: Acquired by the present owner G.F. from a Brooklyn dealer C.Y. who acquired it out of a Brooklyn NY estate 2000s.

Literature: For a book devoted entirely to these scarabs see ‘The Large
Commemorative Scarabs Of Amenhotep III by C. Blankenburg - Van Delden, 1969.

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