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Scarab of Thutmose III

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Personal Arts

The reigns of Hatshepsut through Thutmose IV represent a transitional phase in Eighteenth Dynasty art.

At first, artists continued to favor simple, elegant forms common earlier in the dynasty, but eventually they developed elaborate, highly detailed designs that dominated the dynasty’s final decades. Under Amunhotep II and Thutmose IV, for example, craftsmen increased the use of a soft, pastel blue pigment that had been invented during the reign of Thutmose III. Potters also molded vessels in human and animal form, and artisans rediscovered the Middle Kingdom fascination for colorful stones such as red carnelian.

Art historians consider the scarabs (beetleshaped amulets) of this era among the finest ever made. Figure Vase of Woman Holding Dog
MEDIUM Steatite, glaze
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1479-1425 B.C.E., or later
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18, or later
    PERIOD New Kingdom, or later
    DIMENSIONS 5/16 x 9/16 x 11/16 in. (0.9 x 1.4 x 1.8 cm)
    INSCRIPTIONS Men-kheper-re, shining in Thebes.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Green glazed steatite scarab bearing, on the abse, the inscription "Men-kheper-re, shining in Thebes." The scarab is pierced from front to rear for suspension. The head is lunate-shaped and merges into the prothorax; the clypeus is notched. The prothorax is rounded in the rear, and spearated from the elytra by a single incised line. There is an incised border line on each side of the prothorax. The wing cases are separated from each other by a single line. There is a "V" shaped mark on each wing case at the shoulders. A single incised line runs down the wing case from each of the "V" shaped makrs, and curves forwards slightly at the rear. The hairs on the front and middle legs are indicated, and the legs spread slightly. The prothorax is higher than the rear of the scarab. Condition: The glaze is well preserved and is darker in the hollows than elsewhere; one of the prongs of the clypeus is missing; the thread hole is filled with dirt.
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