Seal in the shape of a female sphinx

Egyptian
Late Middle Kingdom to Early New Kingdom
1794–1492 B.C.


Dimensions

Height x width x depth: 1.1 x 0.7 x 1.5 cm (7/16 x 1/4 x 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

2007.256

Medium or Technique

Steatite

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Seals

This design amulet, or scaraboid, features a recumbent female sphinx with outstretched paws on the back and finely-carved hieroglyphs on the base. It is a rare sculpture in miniature and most likely depicts a New Kingdom queen. Both the neck of the queen and the upper torso of the beast have cross-hatched markings and there is a uraeus on the forehead, an indication of the figure’s royal status. A length-wise boring suggests that the amulet was once part of a larger adornment, such as a bracelet.

Provenance

By 1947, Mr. Dows Dunham [see note 1]; June 21, 1991, by descent to his daughter, Mrs. Philippa Shaplin, Burlington, Vermont.

NOTES:
[1] According to his daughter, Mrs. Philippa Shaplin, the seal was most likely brought into the U.S. from Egypt by her father, Mr. Dows Dunham, by 1947. She discovered the seal in a curio cabinet that she had inherited from her parents.

Credit Line

Gift of Philippa D. Shaplin in memory of Dows Dunham