Ancient Egypt, Ptolemaic, ca. 3rd to 1st century BCE. An Egyptian cast glass inlay / applique depicting a human-headed Ba Bird – the body executed in opaque cornflower blue glass and the body executed in opaque yellow-orange – perhaps in an attempt to simulate gold. The piece displays wonderful detailing of the bird’s wings, plumage, legs, and features. In Egyptian visual culture, the Ba is oftentimes depicted as a winged Ba-bird symbolizing the ascension of the soul following death. The Egyptian concept of the Ba involves a free soul that may exist independently from the physical body. Hence, it leaves and reunites with the body when it wishes. Traditionally, the Ba-bird is presented in the vicinity of the mummy – other times it is shown entering or leaving the tomb. In addition, the Ba-bird was understood as the immutable essece of the deceased’s soul, and loved ones would leave provisions in burial chambers so that the Ba-bird would be encouraged to visit its body regularly. Size: 1.25″ W x 1.2″ H (3.2 cm x 3 cm); 2.625″ H (6.7 cm) on included custom stand.