Scaraboids in the form of hedgehogs were popular in Egypt from the Middle Kingdom onwards. The symbolism of the hedgehog’s emergence from a long period of hibernation was akin to the concept of rebirth, whilst their spiny exterior was thought to give protection against dangerous creatures and evil spirits. The god Bes was seen as protector of women during childbirth, warding off evil spirits.
ProvenanceGustave Mustaki, Alexandria, Egypt; exported from Egypt to the UK c.1950
Elsa MacLellan, UK; by descent from the above
Private collection, London, UK; by descent from the above
Private collection, Rome, Italy; acquired 2012