Heart Amulet

M11957h
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".