Ankh and Was

  • Egypt
  • 1st century B.C. - 1st century A.D.
Catalogue Entry / Ankhs and Was-scepters

These rectangular decorative panels show a combination of two heiroglyphs, the ankh and was-scepters, with the ankh made up of a T-shaped form topped by a circle and symbolizing life. The was-scepters has the head of a dog-like animal with the lower extremities made into a two-pronged scepter, and symbolizes royal authority. The motifs are depicted in red, white, yellow, and cobalt against either a blue or cobalt background. In (a) the ankh is flanked on both sides by was-scepters and the overall area is framed. It appears that other motifs at one point existed outside the framing. (b) - (d) show a repetition of an ankh symbol grasping the was-scepters with both outstretched arms. Decorative bracelets hang from the arms of the ankhs. These decorative panels are made up of mosaic glass units consisting of half of an ankh and the was-scepters which are then paired front to back to make a single motif element and then connected with other elements of the same construct.

Mosaic Glass Inlay