The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 238.



mummy are so shapeless that it is scarcely recognizable as a bandaged human body. After full allowance has been made for possible weathering and other superficial damage to the original stone, would seem that the draftsman's vision was poor and, even more, that he did not understand what he saw, partly, of course, because other specimens were not available for comparison. For such reasons as these one is obliged to distrust many of the designs shown by Chiflet, Capello, and even Montfaucon. It will be remembered that the pig of the design first treated in this chapter is rendered as an elephant in the one engraving that seems to represent it. Not a few of these early engravings must be considered untrustworthy until their relation to some known pattern can be discovered.

 

UNUSUAL SHAPES


In earlier chapters of this work attention has been occasionally called to amulets in unusual forms, such as the Toronto inscribed celt (Pl. XXV, Fig. 8)30 and various interesting examples in the British Museum and elsewhere: the axe-shaped basalt with a Chnoubis serpent and an inscription that often accompanies that design; the lapis lazuli scarab with extended wings; and three triangular stones, one bearing a “trinitarian” inscription.31 There is another group of stones which also departs, though less strikingly, from the conventional flat oval form of most Graeco-Roman gems, and the less common circular and rectangular specimens. These are chiefly prisms of quadrangular or hexagonal section, and what may perhaps be called beads, though unperforated, of a fusiform outline, slender cylinders tapering slightly toward the ends.

A quadrangular prism of steatite (D. 358) perforated longitudinally has on the two broader faces crude sketchy cuttings of Anubis and of Harpocrates crowned with a modius and sitting on the lotus. The latter design would be scarcely recognizable without the help of a closely similar prism in the British Museum (56162).32 The two stones agree throughout in their subjects. Their narrower sides present a snake and the word Iao. Still another closely similar steatite bead was wrongly included by Von der Osten in his Catalogue of the Ancient Oriental Seals in the Newell Collection (No. 543).33 He failed to recognize the letters IAW on one of the four engraved sides. The other subjects are the same as those on the two beads just described; but the animal-headed god looks more like the ass-headed Set than Anubis, and the Harpocrates is almost unrecognizable. These objects are among the roughest and cheapest kinds of amulets. Much like them in form, style, and



30 Published by J. H. Iliffe, AJA 35 (1931), 1–6.

31 The B. M. stones mentioned here are numbered 56206, 56277, 56001, 56024; the third triangular stone is the Schmidt amulet published by Preisendanz, Phil. Woch., 1932, p. 101.

32 B . M. 56162; cuts in King, Gnostics, Pl. F 7.

33 Mrs. Newell's kindness enabled me to confirm my suspicion of Von der Osten's error by personal inspection of this stone, and also of two others, to be mentioned later, which were wrongly listed with the oriental seals.




Last modified: 2012-11-02 14:29:52
Link: classics.mfab.hu/talismans/pandecta/1683