This group of seven plaques in turquoise-blue
faience, consist of two sacred cobras, two djed-
pillars, considered by some scholars as
representations of the spinal column of Osiris and
by others as reeds bundled together, and three
cartouches, without inscription, each crowned by
two ostrich feathers.
The shape of the inlays suggests their use as
inlays set into decorative wooden panels. The
repeated motifs suggest that such inlays
composed identical hieroglyphic phrases which
were decoratively repeated.
The use of inlays has a long tradition in ancient
Egyptian art, but prior to Dynasty XXVI, each
such elements were relatively small in size. The
scale of our ensemble, therefore, indicates that
these seven inlays were created during Dynasty
XXVI (664-525 BC), when such large-scale inlays
were extremely fashionable.-
known series, one example of which was
inscribed with hieroglyphs which seemed to
indicate a dating within Dynasty XXVII (525-404
BC) for the group.
The Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt (notated
Dynasty XXVI, alternatively 26th Dynasty or
Dynasty 26) was the last native dynasty to rule
Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC.
The dynasty's reign (664–525 BC) is also called
the Saite Period after the city of Sais, where its
pharaohs had their capital, and marks the
beginning of the Late Period of ancient Egypt.
See Robert Steven Bianchi and Florence D.
Friedman in F. D. Friedman [editor], Gifts of
the Nile. Ancient Egyptian Faience
(Providence 1998), cat. no. 61.