Pectoral funerary scarab with detached wings

Egyptian
Late Period, Dynasty 25–30
760–332 B.C.


Dimensions

Length x width (scarab component): 5.7 x 3.2 cm (2 1/4 x 1 1/4 in.) Length x width (wing components): 4.4 x 2.8 cm (1 3/4 x 1 1/8 in.)

Accession Number

72.3023a-c

Medium or Technique

Faience

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Mummy trappings

This is a bright funerary scarab of faience with a bright blue glaze. It is comprised of three parts: the central element, shaped as a scarab beetle, and two similar wing components. Incised details have been added to distinguish the basic elements of the beetle’s body and head, as well as striations on the wings. The base is undecorated. The wing pieces have areas with red incrustations. Two holes have been made along the sides of the scarab and in each wing for attachment to each other, while an additional hole at each wing tip and at the long ends of the scarab accommodated stringing to mummy wrappings. Some of the surface glaze has worn down to the underlying white paste on a corner of the proper right wing. Otherwise, this scarab is in very good condition.

In ancient Egyptian funerary religion, the winged scarab was an image closely associated with the sun-god and a popular symbol of protection and rebirth.

Provenance

By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way. (Accession Date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way