Amulet of the triad of Nephthys, Harpocrates and Isis

An amulet in the form of a rectangular plaque with a base and ring on the back so that the piece could be hung in a collar. Three figures have been moulded on the front of the amulet, each standing, looking to the front and with the left leg slightly forward as if the persons were in motion.

The central figure represents the god Harpocrates, the form of Horus as a child. He is seen here naked, with a lock of hair falling down on the right side of his head. He is holding onto the hand of his mother, Isis, to his right, and of Nephthys, his mother’s sister, to his left. They are wearing light garments which cling to the female form, marking the breasts, the waists and the thighs. They are also wearing tripartite wigs and are crowned with the hieroglyphic symbols representing their names.

In this type of triad, Harpocrates generally is seen walking between Isis to his right and Nephthys to his left, but in some cases this order is reversed, as in this case in point.

The association between the three divine figures is making a reference to the childhood of Horus, son of Osiris, who had been assassinated by his uncle – and husband of Nephthys – Set. The child was cared for and protected from assassination by his mother and grandmother. The zeal associated with the cult of Osiris can be seen by the innumerable examples of this type of amulet produced from the Dynasty XXVI onward.

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