Composed of pale green faience for the matrix and a mid-blue faience inlay for the decoration and inscription. A series of concentric circles, the central one containing a pattern of interconnected open. The two outer bands contain hieroglyphs which state a protective magical formula. The text is extremely obscure, so the following is tentative: the outer row appears to grant long life to an unattested deity called dnk 'at his coming forth' and mentions '...a flint knife, when the offerings have been brought forth'. Various creatures are listed, including a cat, a goose, a serpent and a turtle, all of which are commonly found in magical texts; the latter two to be guarded against or overcome. The inner circle begins 'Long life: protection and rescue has been pronounced. Grant a happy new year to its lord'. Mention is then made of Ptah and two lions possibly representing Shu and Tefnut 'the gods who keep safe forever'. The underside of the plate has a series of bands in relief. Repaired from fragments, with some small areas of restoration.
A fascinating piece for which we have been unable to find a parallel. The text has a good deal in common (including the extreme difficulty of interpretation) with those found on cippi which provide magical protection against various perils. Vessels with inscriptions relating to the new year and its celebration are also well known, but the combination of these two elements is very unusual.
Monsieur Martin, Paris, France; acquired 1950s