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Egyptian Faience Djed Pillar Amulet

Egyptian Faience Djed Pillar Amulet

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Late Dynastic period, c. 664-332 BC., Egypt

Mesmerizing, small-sized turquoise glazed faience amulet in the form of the djed pillar. A small hole is pierced through the top of its back-pillar horizontally for suspension. From the beginning of ancient Egyptian history, djed-pillar was used as a symbol signifying permanence, strength and stability. Originally the djed column probably depicted a fertility cult-related pole made from reeds or sheaves, or a totem from which sheaves of grain were suspended or grain was piled around. Later it was associated with the Osiris, the god of resurrection who stands for fertility and eternal duration. The djed pillar became the backbone of the god. The djed was often used as amulets for the living and the dead, and it was placed near the spines of mummified bodies, which was supposed to ensure the resurrection of the dead, allowing the deceased to live eternally. 

In ancient Egypt, amulets were abundant and most were probably inexpensive, which made them available to nearly everyone. An amulet is an object believed to have certain positive properties that, as the amulet’s main function, can magically be bestowed upon its owner. In ancient Egypt, this magical power was often derived from a combination of several aspects, such as the amulet’s shape, decoration, inscription, color, material, and words spoken over the piece or acts performed with it. Amulets were usually worn or placed on the body to transfer their powers directly to the owner. Ancient Egyptian amulets represented animals, deities, symbols, or objects in miniature.

Good condition. Chip. Age-related heavy wear and signs of use. A fine glaze with light encrustations. Size approx. 2,7cm x 0,9cm x 0,6m.

Provenance: Dutch private collection

For a similar examples see:

Djed pillar amulet, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number: 10.130.1814 (

Djed Pillar Amulet, National Museums Liverpool, Accession Number: 49.8.16 (

References and further reading:

Amulets of Ancient Egypt, Carol Andrews, University of Texas Press, 1994. pp. 82-83.

Talismans & amulets, Felicitas H. Nelson, New York: Sterling, 2008, p. 25. 

Ancient Egyptian Amulets, Isabel Stünkel, In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, February 2019. (

Handbook of Egyptian mythology, Geraldine Pinch, Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2002, p. 127.

Egypt in the New Kingdom (ca. 1550–1070 B.C.), Catharine H. Roehrig, In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2000. (

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