Carnelian Frog Amulet
Frogs are a symbol of rebirth, creation and fecundity, most probably, when the frog amulet was worn by the living it brought fertility, while when it was placed on a mummy it favored its rebirth in the afterlife.
The frog, because of its numerous offspring, was a symbol of fertility. In fact, the hieroglyphic sign for 100,000 was a tadpole. Frog amulets were very popular both in semiprecious stone and in faience, and were worn by women hoping for an easy delivery. Both sexes wore the frog in expectation of a successful rebirth in the afterlife.
The frog raises its head, while its legs, tense and nervous, are ready to jump. The shiny faience vividly reproduces the moist skin of this amphibian. The animal’s popularity was due to its being a symbol of creation and fertility.
The association between this amphibian and the life that continually renews may have been induced by the fact that frogs were numerous and usually appeared after the flooding of the Nile: multitudes of frogs filled the fields and seemed to generate themselves directly from the slime, multiplying without end. The amphibian was also the sacred animal of the goddess Heqet, protector of births.
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1540-1296 BC. Carnelian. Now in the Cleveland Museum of Art. 1914.570