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Amulet in the Form of the God Bes

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Bes was popularly worshipped as protector of women and infants, and as a facilitator of fertility. Shown standing on the head and shoulders of a woman with a baby, in Bes with Lute the god protects the mother and newborn by driving away potential harm with the sounds of his musical instrument. The large, round ears and facial folds seen on the Finial are reminiscent of a snarling lion and connect Bes with powerful felines. Because Bes was a multifaceted god who offered protection during such times of transition as pregnancy and birth, women wore his images, like the Amulet, while giving birth or during rites of passage.
  • Place Made: Thebes, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1390-1322 B.C.E.
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 1 7/16 x 11/16 x 3/8 in. (3.6 x 1.7 x 1 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Amulet in the Form of the God Bes, ca. 1390-1322 B.C.E. Gold, 1 7/16 x 11/16 x 3/8 in. (3.6 x 1.7 x 1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.710E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 37.710E_reference_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pale gold pendant in the form of the god Bes. Sheet metal, made in two halves impressed in dies. Loop atop head and tail added separately. Condition: Good
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