About this object

Handle from a sistrum of pale blue glazed faience. Inscribed with a column of hieroglyphs bearing the cartouches of King Ahmose II [Amasis] of the 26th Dynasty, considered to be the last great ruler of Egypt before the Persian conquest. Sistra were musical instruments associated with goddesses such as Hathor and Bastet. Faience sistra with royal names may have been votive offerings deposited within temples.

A complete example is within the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New York (no. 07.228.77). Formerly in the collection of Hon. Richard Bethell. Purchased at Sotheby's 15/16 December 1924 lot 370: “A Fragment of a Kohl Tube, of yellow faience, on which is inscribed “The Great Royal Wife,” ANKH.S.EN.AMEN (Queen of TUT.ANKH.AMEN); part of a Handle, with the name of Queen SAT.AMEN (?), in pale blue inlaid in violet; another, with the prenomen of HOR.EM.HEB, white in violet; and a Handle, of pale blue faience incised with the prenomen and nomen of AAHMES.SA.NEITH; XVIII and XXVI dynasties (4)” (1924 p. 36).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Musical Instruments
  • Culture
    Late Period (Saite)
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    570 BC - 526 BC about
  • Materials
    Egyptian Faience
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Richard Bethell
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1924 before
  • Measurements
    63 mm x 23 mm
  • Related people
    Richard Bethell ( Collector, previous owner); Wellcome Historical Medical Museum ( Previous owner); Henry Solomon Wellcome ( Previous owner)

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Wellcome Historical Medical Museum

    Owned from: 1924-12-16
    How acquired: From Henry Solomon Wellcome
    Owned until: 1971
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Solomon Wellcome

    Owned from: 1924-12-16
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1936-06-25
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Richard Bethell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1924-12-16
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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