Amulet with Five-pointed Star

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Amulet with five-pointed star 20th century, Cairo, Egypt Bronze Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 80682

Amulet with five-pointed star, obverse


Amulet with five-pointed star, reverse


The ring at the top of this pendant suggests it is to be worn, perhaps as a necklace. The pentagram may be related to the six-pointed star known as the seal of Solomon. The five- or six-pointed star recalls the seal or sign that allowed Solomon to maintain his power over the jinns (evil spirits). Often the seal of Solomon can be found in talismanic shirts, prayer books, and amulets. Wearing such protective designs and objects comprised a form of licit magic in the Islamic world, as it was used to protect the wearer from both earthly and spiritual harm.

Bibliography: Savage-Smith 1997, pt. 1, 132ff.; Porter et al. 2011, 170; Porter 2004; Porter and Frembgen 2010; Dawkins 1944; Blair 2001; Gruber 2012; 2010, 137–142; and Kriss and Kriss-Heinrich 1962, pl. 66.

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