About this object

Inlay of blue glass made in the shape of the heart-shaped hieroglyph, taking the form of a jar with lug handles, perhaps representing veins and arteries. The original surface colour is now very faded, though may be seen through a small break on the reverse (aqua blue). One side is flat and plain, suggesting this was for decorative inlaid relief. 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).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    664 BC - 332 BC about
  • Materials
    Glass
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1852 about
  • Measurements
    34 mm x 23 mm x 7 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner); Nelson ( Collector); Philip Nelson ( Collector)

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
Object view = Humanities
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