The scarab is composed of rock crystal in a pale amethyst colour. The gem is carved with anatomical details on the wing case and the base of the scarab is inscribed with hieroglyphs for the pharaoh Ramesses II, giving his nomen as Ra-mes-es mery-amun 'beloved of Amun'. The scarab is pierced vertically and mounted in a modern gold mount to be worn as a pendant.
Collection of Hugh Algernon Percy, 10th Duke of Northumberland K.G., T.D., F.R.S. (1914 - 1988)
Sotheby's, London, The Property of His Grace the Duke of Northumberland, 21 April 1975, lot 57
Christie’s, New York, 18 December 1997, lot 243
US private collection, Philadelphia, acquired from the above sale
Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty and generally regarded as the greatest and most powerful of king of Egypt. The writing of the name Ramesses changed in the reign of Ramesses II: from ra-ms-s to ra-ms-sw. The spelling on this scarab is the earlier incarnation which allows relatively precise dating. For further discussion see A. J. Spalinger, 'Historical Observations on the Military Reliefs of Abu Simbel and Other Ramesside Temples in Nubia', JEA, 66, 1980, pp. 94-99.