Amulet of Harpokrates

Third Intermediate Period–Late Period, Dynasty 21–30
1070–332 B.C.


Overall: 2.2 cm (7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



This amulet of a squatting figure of Harpokrates (Horus the child) with his finger to his mouth has a loop at the back of the neck for suspension. A Bes head appears in relief on the back. It has a slight black glaze.
Harpocrates (Horus-the-child) was the infant son of Osiris and Isis, often shown seated on his mother’s lap nursing. Isis made potent protective spells to keep her child safe and this protection would be accessible to one who wore the amulet.


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.

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way