An extremely rare turquoise blue glazed faience amulet showing the gods Pataikos and Anubis, positioned back-to-back.
Both gods are depicted in their most common appearance: Pataikos as a dwarf with short crooked legs and a bald head, and Anubis as a man with the head of a jackal; he is wearing a pleated kilt. A hole for suspension between their heads. On an integral plinth.
Pataikos was a god (or perhaps a member of a whole group of similarly looking gods) who gave protection. He is mostly known from amulets. In some cases he is shown standing on crocodiles (a symbol of his triumph over them) and having snakes and other dangerous animals in his hands. In many ways he resembles the god Harpokrates on magical stelae.
Pataikos was also associated with Ptah and Ptah-Sokar. The name Pataikos goes back to Herodotus, the Greek writer who visited Egypt in the 5th century BC. He tells us that a statue of the god Ptah was kept in the temple of Memphis, which had the shape of a dwarf and which reminded him of a statuette in similar shape in Phoenicia. He also informs us that the god represented as a dwarf was regarded as the son of Ptah.
Anubis was the god of the necropolis and of embalming, but his tasks not only included to take care of the mummy but also to destroy all enemies of Osiris, to assist during a ritual called "Opening of the Mouth" before the funeral, or in general to ensure a good burial as well as offerings. The Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts add that Anubis was responsible for counting the hearts. He also took part in the judgement of the dead, where he could be seen (vignette for spell 125 of the Book of the Dead) leading the deceased to the scales on which the heart would be weighed and subsequently towards Osiris.
He was the son of Osiris and Nephthys, according to one ancient Egyptian tradition; in other versions he is called the son of the sun god Re, and his mother can also be Bastet.
Late to Ptolemaic Period, 664 - 30 B.C.
Height 2.7 cm.
With Harmer Rooke Gallery, New York, Auction 65, 1995, no. 122; thence US private collection; thence Christie's New York, Ancient Jewelry, 9 December 2004, lot 74; thence Dutch private collection.
Intact with some wear, encrustation and discoloration, as shown.