About this object

Red carnelian amulet made in the shape of the heart-shaped hieroglyph, taking the form of a jar with lug handles, perhaps representing veins and arteries. The gold wire passed through the suspension hole at the top was an addition made in about the 7th – 6th century BC. Heart-shaped amulets were believed to protect the wearer's heart from both physical and spiritual harm both in life and after death. Spell 29b in the Book of the Dead states that such amulets should ideally be carved from the red-coloured stone carnelian. In the ancient Egyptian language the word heart (ib) appears in the expression for a close friend, “one who has entered the heart” (ak-ib).

Presented by Lucien Bonaparte, Prince Français, 1st Prince of Canino and Musignano (1775-1840) to Hortense Eugénie Cécile Bonaparte, Queen Consort of Holland. Pope Pius VII gave land to Napoleon Bonaparte’s exiled brother in Montalto di Castro, Province of Viterbo, Lazio, Italy. This included the necropolis of the ancient Etruscan city of Vulci to. From 1828 antiquities were unearthed from tombs from about the 7th – 6th century BC and are now within museum collections around the world. The provenance of this artefact is recorded on page 107 in the Bram Hertz collection catalogue of 1857: "1046 Pair of Ear-rings in shape of the God Chnum (Jupiter Chnebis), set as ear-drops, with stands and rings, and necklace of blue bugles, glass beads ; a plate, on which is Horus, between Isia and Nephthys ; an ape, a frog, a clasp, or counterpoise of a collar ; two lions and a ram-headed hawk ; set with gold frames, and clasp of Etruscan workmanship. These were formerly presented by the Prince of Canino to the Queen Hortense, having been found at Vulci".

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    New Kingdom; Third Intermediate Period; Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    1550 BC - 332 BC about
  • Materials
    Gold; Cornelian
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Bram Hertz
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Vulci
  • Date collected
    1828 after
  • Measurements
    14 mm x 12 mm x 8 mm
  • Note
    Part of 42 heart amulets under accession number M11957 (though catalogue card has only 32 listed).
  • Related people
    Bram Hertz (Collector, previous owner); Joseph Mayer (Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • Catalogue of Etruscan Objects in World Museum, Liverpool

    MacIntosh Turfa, Jean and Muskett, Georgina

    Author: MacIntosh Turfa, Jean and Muskett, Georgina
    Publisher: Archaeopress Publishing Ltd
    Date: 2017
    Description: One of the finest collections of Etruscan artifacts outside of Italy was begun in the 19th century by Joseph Mayer, goldsmith, of Liverpool. His donation of the collection became the core of Liverpool Museum, now World Museum, and has been augmented over the years by additional gifts and other acquisitions, such as those from the Wellcome Collection and Norwich Castle Museum. Much of the original material came from the necropolis of Vulci (Canino) when it was excavated by Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino, while additional objects represent several other cities and sites. Already famous for its gold jewellery and bronze vessels of the 6th to 4th centuries BCE, the Liverpool collection includes a fine selection of Etruscan vases, especially bucchero ware and Archaic painted vases, several scarab seals in semiprecious stones, a small number of carved ivories, and funerary urns, including that of Larui Helesa, in which were found gold earrings identical to those worn by her colourful effigy on its lid. A large group of bronze fibulae (safety-pins) furnish examples of most major types of those important ornaments of the Iron Age and Archaic periods. Engraved bronze mirrors and terracotta votives in the form of heads and body parts (such as uteri) of the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE illustrate myths and offerings that were essential to Etruscan religion. From a Villanovan sword to Hellenistic epitaphs, the Liverpool Etruscan and Italian collection offers a rare glimpse of early civilization in central Italy.

  • Catalogue of the Collection of Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Indian, Peruvian, and Mexican Antiquities formed by B. Hertz now in the possession of Joseph Mayer FSA, MRNSA, FRAS

    Hertz, Bram

    Author: Hertz, Bram
    Publisher: Joseph Mayer
    Date: 1857
    Description: 156 page catalogue which lists all the items Mayer acquired from Bram Hertz in 1856 (thought to be authored by Bram Hertz).

  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: 83 page illustrated catalogue of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Joseph Sams or Lord Valentia collections. The woodcut illustrations were produced by the noted Victorian illustrator and engraver, Llewellynn Frederick William Jewitt FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 catalogue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text. Much of this information was provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1857
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Bram Hertz

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1857
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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