Mould-made amuletic figure in glazed composition, representing Isis nursing Horus (Harpokrates); goddess wearing tripartite wig, seated on a throne in the shape of a cubical seat with plain back on a rectangular base; holding on her knees Horus with the left arm while presenting her left breast with the right hand to her son; rather crude and slightly schematic modelling with few incised details; light greenish turquoise glaze; dense white core; top of head (possibly crown?) and of throne broken off; head of Horus chipped.
- Production date
- 6thC BC (possibly)
Height: 2.40 centimetres
Length: 1.50 centimetres
Width: 0.60 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Isis nursing is a theme relatively well-represented at Naukratis with some figures and amulets made of bronze or glaze composition (Masson forthcoming). Isis lactans appears to be an important amuletic figure for the mummy but also used in the daily life for the protection of women and children (Andrews 1994, 48). Such figures were also deposited as ex-votos. They became truly popular from the Late Period onwards and one of the most depicted themes in bronze statuary (Roeder 1956, § 303-314; Weiss 2012, 330-331, 822-833, pl. 56, G12).
On Isis amulets see: Andrews 1994, 48-49, fig. 18; Herrmann et al. 2010, 30-32 (types 4-5).
Very close parallels of Isis nursing amulet from Naukratis: Oxford, Ashmolean Museum AN1896-1908-EA.850 and AN1888.212. The latter has the Scarab Factory as a findspot, such as the Boston specimen.
Considering its context of discovery, it should be dated to the 26th dynasty. However, the registers of the Museum of Fine Arts tend to allocate the Scarab Factory as a findspot for not only scarabs, scaraboids and their moulds, but also all types of amulets from Naukratis. Caution is therefore required for the dating and the findspot. Let's note that the records written (or at least supervised) by Amelia Edwards mention the Scarab Factory as the findspot too.
Andrews, C. 1994, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London.
Herrmann, C., Staubli, T., Berger-Lober, S., Keel, O., Schönbächler, G. 2010, 1001 Amulett : altägyptischer Zauber, monotheisierte Talismane, säkulare Magie, Bibel+Orient-Museum, Liebefeld, Stuttgart.
Masson, A. forthcoming, ‘Naukratis: Egyptian offerings in context’, in M. Bergeron and A. Masson (eds.), Naukratis in Context II: Cults, Sanctuaries and Offerings. Proceedings of the Second Naukratis Project Workshop held at The British Museum, 22nd-23rd June 2013.
Roeder, G. 1956, Ägyptische Bronzefiguren, Mitteilungen aus der Ägyptischen Sammlung 6, Berlin.
Weiss, K. 2012, Ägyptische Tier- und Götterbronzen aus Unterägypten: Untersuchungen zu Typus, Ikonographie und Funktion sowie der Bedeutung innerhalb der Kulturkontakte zu Griechenland, Ägypten und Altes Testament 81.
- Not on display
- Rather fair, bit chipped
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: P.5235 (Pottery & Porcelain Ledger No.)
Miscellaneous number: RES.86.298 (Accession Number)