About this object

Polished quartz amulet made in the shape of the heart-shaped hieroglyph, taking the form of a jar with lug handles, perhaps representing veins and arteries. Broken at the top. 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
    New Kingdom; Third Intermediate Period; Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    1550 BC - 332 BC about
  • Materials
    Quartz
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Henry Solomon Wellcome
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1924 before
  • Measurements
    12 mm x 8 mm x 6 mm
  • Note
    Purchased at Sotheby's 15 December 1924, lot 78.
  • Related people
    Sotheby's ( Previous owner); Wellcome Historical Medical Museum ( Previous owner); Henry Solomon Wellcome ( Associated Person, collector, previous owner)

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Wellcome Historical Medical Museum

    Owned from: 1924-12-15
    How acquired: From Henry Solomon Wellcome
    Owned until: 1982
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Solomon Wellcome

    Owned from: 1924-12-15
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1936-06-25
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Sotheby's

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1924-12-15
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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