Sistrum of Ahmose II



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. Compare with a complete example of a sistrum inscribed for Ahmose II is within the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New York (no. 07.228.77). Wellcome Historical Medical Museum accession no. 31971. Formerly in the collection of Hon. Richard Bethell. Purchased at Sotheby's, London, 15-17 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).