Amulet of the Apis bull

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


Overall: 2.2 x 1.9 cm (7/8 x 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



The Apis bull was sacred to the creator god Ptah of Memphis and also had close associations with the funerary god Osiris. Egyptians wore amulets of the Apis both to show their devotion and to improve their chances of rebirth after death. This amulet of deep blue faience takes the form of a plaque with the Apis in raised relief. It shows the Apis in his most common form, striding forward with a solar disk between his horns. There is a ring at the top for suspension and the back is flat and plain.


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