The Freud Museum

Sphinx Amulet

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3830, Sphinx Amulet, Late Period; 716-332 B.C.

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Egyptian
Material: Egyptian faience
Dimensions: h. 1 3/8 in./ 3.6 cm

In Egypt the sphinx was believed to be a guardian and was closely associated with the pharaohs, as is evidenced by the great sphinx of Giza that was built to protect the pyramid of King Chephren (4th Dynasty, 2640-2520 B.C.). With the body of a lion and the head of a man, the sphinx combines brute force and human intellect, making it an intimidating adversary to any attackers.

Although male figures are slightly more common, sphinxes were represented as both male and female. This sphinx is female. The loop on the back of the neck indicates that it was meant to be hung by string, perhaps as an ornament to ward off evil spirits.

See this object on our Collections site here 

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