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Romano-Egyptian Bronze Amulet of Harpocrates

Egypt, Romano-Egyptian period, ca. 1st century BCE to 4th century CE. A cast bronze figure of Harpocrates (Harpokrates), one of the gods of the Triad of Alexandria, popular during the Ptolemaic and Roman Egyptian eras, especially in the city of Alexandria. The figure is shown seated, with an elaborate headdress, one hand raised to his mouth as befits the god of silence. The preservation of detail is incredible on this piece, with the face very clear and the fine lines of the headdress still visible. Size: 2" L x 1.25" W x 3.75" H (5.1 cm x 3.2 cm x 9.5 cm)

During the Ptolemaic period, Isis-Hathor, Serapis, and Harpocrates formed the Triad of Alexandria, a cult for worshipping the three deities that combined Greek and Roman gods with Egyptian ones. Ptolemy introduced this worship as a way to unify the cultures under his rule. Isis-Hathor was connected to beliefs about childbirth and fertility; Serapis (Sarapis) signified abundance and resurrection, a combination of Osiris and Apis; and Harpocrates (a Greek version of Horus) was the god of silence, secrets, and confidentiality. This bronze statuette would have been a votive figure, allowing for the worship of the god at a home altar.

Condition: Intact, with dark brown-green patina and excellent preservation of detail.

Provenance: private Florida, USA collection

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