Lotus pendant of vizier Imhotep

A lotus flower shaped pendant once belonged to the Vizier Imhotep, a high official in the royal court of King Thutmose I. Excavated by Ernesto Schiaparelli and Francesco Ballerini from his tomb (QV46), Valley of the Queens, Thebes.

The lotus was shown throughout Egypt in tombs and temples to symbolize the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. It symbolizes the sun, creation, and rebirth because at night, the flower closes and sinks underwater, at dawn it rises and opens again.

Lotus shaped pendant of vizier Imhotep. Egyptian Museum of Turin. S. 5108
Lotus shaped pendant of vizier Imhotep. Egyptian Museum of Turin. S. 5108

Imhotep was the governor of the city (in Thebes), a judge and a vizier under Thutmose I. He was also said to be a tutor to the sons of the king.

An unusual and appealing small head that is a masterpiece; was found by Howard Carter at the entrance to the Tomb of Tutankhamun. The head is that of the king tut with very beautiful features, modeled in the Amarna style and emerging from an open lotus flower.

In ancient Egypt there were two kinds of lotus flowers, a blue and a white one. The blue was the most sacred and was greatly appreciated, with its delicate and sweet aroma. Egyptians imagined this flower as a goblet, which opened on the water as the cradle of the sun in the morning.

New Kingdom, early-18th Dynasty, reign of Thutmose I, ca. 1493-1482 BC. From tomb of vizier Imhotep (QV46), Valley of the Queens, West Thebes. Medium: Gold, glaze. Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 0.3 cm. Now in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. S. 5108