Egyptian gold amulet of the Crocodile God, Sobek-Re
Ptolemaic Period, 332–30 BC
Gold, length: 2 cm
This rendering of a crocodile in solid gold is transformed into a deity by the addition of a solar disc and uraeus. Revered as a protector and provider, Sobek-Re embodied both the ferocity of the Nile’s crocodiles and the life-giving energy of the sun. This diminutive wonder would have held immense significance for its owner, most likely a priest.
Sobek-Re was in the collection of cotton baron Michael Salvago and his wife, Argine Benaki. Argine was famed for her beauty and vivacity and reigned as the grande dame of 1930’s Alexandria. The member of a family of enormous wealth, culture and accomplishment, her sister was the eminent Greek writer Penelope Delta, while her brother Antony founded the Benaki Museum in Athens.
Provenance: Collection of Michael and Argine Salvago (née Benaki), acquired 1930s, thence by descent to the present owner