Stylized and symbolic, Egyptian art conveys the religion and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians in a way that is both beautiful and unique.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Nesbanebdjed, 30th Dynasty, ca. 380 - 343 BCE
EU2110Regular price $15,000 USD
Mummiform, fine quality, faience with light blue glaze. Details in relief, with a tripartite wig, plaited divine beard, facial details in quality relief, hands crossed over chest carrying a pic and hoe, seed bag on cord suspended over left shoulder, with dorsal pillar and trapezoidal base, “T” shaped hieroglyphic inscription naming the owner as Nesbanebdjed. Titles include: Chamberlain, Prophet of the two Gods, Prophet of Osiris, Superior of the Priests of Sekhmet and the ram of Mendes.
Nesbanebdjed is given a number of priestly titles on this ushabti. These are all associated with the deities particular to Medes and in particular the sacred ram Ba-neb-djedet from which the name of the owner of this ushabti is derived. Ba-neb-djedet was the husband of an earlier chief deity at Medes, the goddess Hat-mehit. Their son, Harpocrates completed the Mendesian triad. Mendes is considered to be the capital of Egypt during the 29th dynasty.
(1) “The illuminated one, the Osiris, the ‘imy-khenty Priest’, the ‘One who separates the Two Gods’, the ’Priest of the Osiris in Anpet’, the ‘Scribe of the Divine (?)’, (2) the ‘Overseer of the wab-Priests of Sekhmet in Hat-mehyt (Mendes)’, the ‘Priest of Ba-neb-djed’, Nes-ba- neb-djed, born to Shentyt, ??? justified” [Janes translation of T shabti for Nes-ba-neb-djed].
The tomb of Nesbanebdjed was found in 1902 in Tell el-Ruba in the Eastern Delta, the ancient city of Mendes, see M.J.E. Quibell, "Note on a Tomb found at Tell er Robâ," Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte, vol. 3, 1902, pp. 245-249. Of the 360 ushabti found, 322 bore the T-shaped inscription. A similar shabti is in the British Museum (accession no. 1919,1008.1), and one from the Brugsch collection was published in G. Janes, Shabtis: A Private View, Paris, 2002, p. 189, no. 96. For the asymmetry of the eyes cf. J.-F. and L. Aubert, Statuettes égyptiennes, Paris, 1974, pp. 255-6, pl. 155-6. For another example see J. F. Aubert and L. Aubert, Statuettes égyptiennes, Chaouabtis, Ouchebtis, Paris, 1974, pl. 66, Reflets du divin: Antiquités pharaoniques et classiques d'une collection privée, Geneva, 2001, no. 73c.
For related examples see:
G. Janes, Shabtis A Private View (Paris, 2002), p. 189-191 no. 96.
Jacques F. Aubert – Liliane Aubert, Statuettes égyptiennes, Chaouabtis, ouchebtis (Paris, 1974) p. 297 fig. 155.
Hans D. Schneider, Shabtis. An Introduction to the History of Ancient Egyptian Funerary Statuettes with a Catalogue of the Collection of Shabtis in the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden (Collections of the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden, 2) (Leiden, 1977), pp. 184 – 185 no. 126.96.36.199.
J-L Chappaz, Les figurines funéraires égyptiennes du Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, (Geneva 1984), p. 88 no. 73c.
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall
Dimensions: Height: 6 3/8 inches (16.2 cm)
Provenance: PBA Auction, Paris, 1 Jun 2012, Lot 85, Ex: Private French collection, Tomb discovered in Tell el Rub’a in 1902, site of the ancient city of Mendes.
An Egyptian Faience Ushabti for Tjai-En-Hebu, Dynasty 26, Reign of Amasis, ca. 570 – 526 BCE
EU2123Regular price $30,000 USD
A large and exceptional faience shabti of pale blue/green glaze shown standing on a trapezoidal base, wearing a tripartite wig and plaited divine beard curled at tip, the particularly fine facial details are in high-quality relief, and the mouth wears a gentle smile. The hands, crossed over the chest, hold a pick, a hoe, and the cord to a seed bag that is suspended over left shoulder, and there is a raised dorsal pillar at the back. Around the legs and over the feet are ten horizontal bands of crisp, incised text containing the extended version of the shabti spell, naming the owner and commences: - “ The illuminated one, the Osiris, the “Overseer of the Royal Ships” , Tjai-en Hebu, born to Ta-nefert-iyti, he speaks: O these ushabtis …." (Janes)
Tjai-ne-hebu's tomb was discovered just south of the pyramid of Unas at Saqqara in 1900 by A. Barsanti and G. Maspero. Because of his important position as 'Overseer of the Royal Ships' and also 'Overseer of the Scribes of the Magistrates,' and judging by the richness of his burial, Tjai-ne-hebu was a man of considerable wealth. In his tomb there was a large basalt anthropoid sarcophagus (Cairo JE 35136) which contained Tjai-ne-hebu's mummy, adorned with a gold face mask (JE 34525), toe and finger covers (JE 34527), and numerous fine amulets and pieces of jewellery. Also found were four alabaster canopic jars (JE 34330) as well as a number of other funerary objects. A total of 401 ushabtis were found placed on wooden shelves on either side of the entrance to the burial chamber, 263 on the right and 178 on the left. (Janes).
Other ushabtis for Tjai-ne-hebu can be found in museums such as Cairo (20 recorded under a single entry JE 34332), National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, (1922:16), British Museum, London (EA 34278-34281,35388-35391, 41554-41558, 63454 & 69570), Musee des Beaux-Arts, Lyons (1969-514), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (10.130.1047a-d & 26.6.1-2),17 Ontario (951.44), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1965.175), Louvre, Paris (AF 1908), and Museo Egizio, Turin (1654).
BAAF 2009 Catalog (Brussels) Charles Ede LTD Tjai-en-hebu
Egyptian Antiquities Charles Ede Ltd 2009 No 25 Tjai-en-hebu, son of Pa-Neferet (incorrect name – see Janes)
Christie's, New York, 8 Jun 2001, Lot 102
Amherst collection, Sotheby’s 1921
For related examples see:
G. Janes, Shabtis A Private View (Paris, 2002), pp. 210 - 212 no. 106a.
Jacques F. Aubert – Liliane Aubert, Statuettes égyptiennes, Chaouabtis, ouchebtis (Paris, 1974) p. 296 fig 139.
J-L Chappaz, Les figurines funéraires égyptiennes du Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, (Geneva 1984), p. 88 no. 73b.
Ushebtis Egypcios (45) Museo Gregoriano Egizio, Vatican, Pic No. 80
Ushebtis Egypcios (45) National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, Pic No. 84
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. A truly spectacular example.
Dimensions: Height: 7 1/4 inches (18.5 cm)
Provenance: Tomb discovered in 1900 near the pyramid of Unas (Saqqara) by A. Barsanti/G. Maspero. (Janes). Amherst Collection, sold by Sotheby's in June 1921, inventory #1058, Christie's, New York, 8 Jun 2001, Lot 102. An old inscription on the base reads: Teha-nehibu, a Superintendant of Royal Cargos, a similar figure is in British Museum no 34 279. See guide I of II Egyptian Rooms, page 128 where it is illustrated and mentioned as being of special interest" Last line unreadable but possibly a name and date.
An Egyptian Bronze Sistrum, 26th Dynasty, Saite Period, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EB2002Regular price $27,500 USD
A sistrum, or sesesh, is an ancient Egyptian sacred percussion instrument held by ancient Egyptian priestesses that were shaken to accompany the chanting during temple rituals, festive processions, religious ceremonies, and when coming into the presence of a deity. It is thought to have imitated the sound of papyrus stalks being shaken, echoing an ancient rite connected with the myth in which the god Horus was raised in secret in a papyrus marsh.
The overall shape of this sistrum resembles the ankh symbol meaning life. The cylindrical handle terminates in the form of the "Bat emblem" which was associated with the goddess Hathor, patroness of music. Here, she wears a wig with curly ends, bovine ears, and is adorned with a large wesekh collar. Sound disks in the form of cymbal-like pieces of bronze, move on three metal bars fitted into holes in the high arch which themselves move, to rattle against one another. In this example, one sound disk still remains. Hathor's shoulders are surmounted by projecting cobras wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. At the base of the arch is a seated cat, possibly representing solar associations or the pacifying aspect of the goddess soothed by the sound of the sistrum.
Condition: Some of the sounds disks now missing, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 11 inches (28 cm)
Provenance: Ex. Belgian collection formed in the 1970s, thereafter private Virginia collection, acquired from the NY trade.
An Egyptian Relief Fragment for Paser II, Reign of Ramesses II, ca. 1279 - 1213 BCE
ES1311Regular price $22,500 USD
a granite relief fragment finely carved in six registers, for the king's scribe Paser II, the text reads:
"[...] when drafting recruits...
that I received from the gift of...
I answered free of falsehood...
I completed two-thirds, only one-third was left...
of Amun, the overseer of the prophets of Min...
the Osiris, king's scribe Paser."
Paser II was the son of the High Priest of Min and Isis named Minmose during the reign of Ramesses II; one uncle was the High Priest of Amun, Wennenefer and another the Troop Commander of Kush named Pennesuttawy. Through Wennenefer, Paser was related to Amenemone (troop commander of the army), Amenemope (Chief of Seers in the house of Re and chamberlain to the Pharaoh), and Hori, the High Priest of Anhur. Paser's titles include: the King's son of Kush, overseer of the Southern Lands, and king's scribe. Paser is attested in a statue from Abu Simbel, a land donation stela from Abu Simbel where Paser appears before Amun and a rock stela in Abu Simbel.
cf: Kitchen, K.A., Ramesside Inscriptions, Translated & Annotated, Translations, Volume III, Blackwell Publishers, 1996
Reisner, G. The Viceroys of Ethiopia, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 6, No. 1. (Jan. 1920)
Herrero, A.: The 'King's Son of Kush' Paser(II), Son of the 'High Priest of Min and Isis' Minmose, Volume 13 (2002)
Condition: The fragment is intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 15 cm (5.9 inches), Width: 26.5 cm (10.4 inches), Depth: 2.54 cm (1 inch)
Provenance: Museum deaccession, Brooklyn, NY, 2013, previously the private collection of Dr. Richard Vadaszy, NJ, acquired in the 1980s.
An Egyptian Wood Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, Late - Ptolemaic Period, ca 664 - 30 BCE
EW1913-PBRegular price $19,500 USD
Standing at the back of a rectangular integral base painted with gesso, the figure of the god is shown mummiform wearing a black, blue and red over gesso tripartite wig and elaborately detailed broad collar. The face, of yellow pigment representing the gold skin of the god, is naturalistically carved and highlighted with black cosmetic lines around the eyes. An inscription runs down the center of the body and continues on the back. At the back of the head is a square opening that shows the partially hollow inside which probably originally held a roll of papyrus. The lid that originally covered the opening is now missing.
Background: A feature of ancient Egyptian religion is the process of syncretism in which originally distinct gods with similar powers were brought together to create a composite deity. In Ptah-Sokar-Osiris three gods associated with resurrection are united. Ptah is one of the oldest Egyptian deities; he was known as a god of craftsmanship and creation. Sokar was an ancient falcon god who became associated with the afterlife. Lastly, Osiris as king of the underworld, represented the power of regeneration and resurrection.
Condition: Some wear and cracking to the wood, with some expected loss of pigment and gesso throughout, small hole in top part of wig and loss around right side of face, otherwise intact.
Dimensions: Height: 21 1/2 inches (54.6 cm), Length: 12 1/4 (31 cm)
Provenance: From a private San Francisco collection, California acquired in the 1990's, thereafter the estate of Peter Borromeo, Jr Esq., acquired in 2011.
A Trussed Duck Limestone Votive Sculpture, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1362 BCE
ES1903Regular price $18,000 USD
Duck vessels in this form were popular in the New Kingdom, compare W.C. Hayes, The Scepter of Egypt-Part I (New York) 1953, fig.199. The choice of material for this example makes a votive function more likely.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall with some original polychrome remains.
Dimensions: Height: 4 1/2 inches (11.43 cm),Width: 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cm)
Provenance: Bonhams, lot #13, Sale 29th April, 2004, thereafter the Harer Family Trust Collection, acquired from Charles Ede, 6 August 2004.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Waibresaneith, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EU2105Regular price $15,000 USD
Aside from the overall fine quality, perhaps the most striking feature of this large faience shabti is the unusual striated tripartite wig inlaid with a soft blue glaze paste. Shown mummiform, it is made from high-quality faience with light blue/green glaze as is befitting for an important nobleman. The facial details are in high relief, there is a plaited divine beard, and the hands, that cross over the chest, carry a pick and hoe for work in the afterlife. The right hand also holds a cord that suspends over the left shoulder to support a seed bag on his back. As is typical for Late Period shabtis, there is a wide dorsal pillar, and the figure stands on a trapezoidal base. Seven horizontal bands of incised hieroglyphic from Chapter VI of the Book of the Dead text wrap around legs naming the owner as Wa-w(a)-wer, whose good name was Wah-ib-re-sa-neith.
Wah-ib-re-sa-neith held many titles including Administrator of the Estates, Prince and Mayor, Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt, etc. His mother is Ta-hi, Sistrum player of Neith, Lady of Sais; grandparents were Hor-em-Khebit and Iset-Irdis. [Janes]. “ The illuminate one, the Osiris, the ‘Administrator of the Estates’, Wa-w(a)-wer, his good name, Wah-ib-re-sa-neith (son of), ...” [Janes].
1. Janes, pp. 156 - 157 no. 82 Wa-w(a)-wer DYN 26 Janes
2. Loffet, pp. 210 - 213 no. 68 Ouaou-our DYN 26 - 27
3. Decker, pp. 86 -87 Wa-ib-re-sa-neith - Wa-w(a)-wir DYN 26 Reign of Psammetich II – Ahmose II
Dimensions: Height: 7 1/4 inches (18.4 cm)
Condition: Intact and excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ex Boston Private Collection, thereafter Virginia private collection, acquired from the New York trade in 2007. Probably from Sais (Janes).
An Egyptian Gold and Jasper Ring Bezel, late 18th Dynasty, ca. 1479 - 1295 BCE
EJ2032Regular price $15,000 USD
The Egyptian name for red jasper is khenmet, to delight, linking the positive aspects of red with connotations of energy, dynamism, power, and even life itself. For the Egyptians, it was the red stone par excellence, and this cowrie shaped ring bezel of exceptional red jasper, mounted in high karat gold, is indeed a delight. The stone is softly polished to a fine sheen, the setting constructed from a strip of gold foil wrapped around the sides of the stone and folded over the edges of the bezel's base so the underside could be seen. Soldered at both ends of the terminals are ring discs of gold foil, and originally a gold wire was fed through the bezel, creating a shank for wearing and allowing the bezel to swivel. Here, a modern 18k gold shank has been constructed in keeping with ancient design.
cf: Bulsink, M., Bomhof, P. J., & Kemp, A. . (2015). Egyptian gold jewellery: With a catalogue of the collection of gold objects in the Egyptian Department of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, cat. 127, 128 p. 172
Andrews, C. (1996). Ancient Egyptian Jewellery. London: Published for the Trustees of the British Museum by British Museum Press. p. 163-165.
Condition: The jasper inlay and original gold bezel are intact, there is a small amount of tearing to the sheet gold but overall it is in very good condition for an object of this type and age. The 18K gold shank is modern, of typical ancient design, and in excellent condition. A modern 18K gold thread with rounded knob terminals attaches the shank to the bezel. Overall, the ring presents particularly well and can be adjusted for wearing if required.
Dimensions: US ring size 8.5 (UK: R, Germany: 18 1/2)
Bezel Provenance: J. Bowman private collection, Boston, MA., acquired in Europe between 1968 - 1972, thereafter private NYC collection.
An Egyptian Faience and Stone Bead Necklace with Menet, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18 - 19, ca. 1550 - 1187 BCE
EJ1579Regular price $15,000 USD
This full beaded necklace with counterpoise (menet) at the back to keep it in place, became popular during the New Kingdom. Symbolically, the necklace was associated with the goddess Hathor, “the Great Menet”, and her son Ihy and may have functioned as a medium to transmit her power. In many images, Hathor is shown offering the necklace to the King and the Queen. The menet appears to have been associated with such concepts of life, potency, fertility, birth, and renewal.
When included as decoration or as an amulet in mortuary settings, the menet was associated again with Hathor, but in her duty as the goddess of the western necropolis and her part in the rebirth of the dead. In representations of Hathor as the divine cow, she is shown wearing the menet necklace. In later periods, other goddesses in cow form (such as Nut or Isis) were shown wearing Hathor’s menet.
Condition: Restrung, intact and in good condition overall.
Dimensions: Length: 19 1/2 inches (50 cm)
Provenance: Menet: Goddard and Josephine Cook DuBois, New York acquired in Egypt between 1900 and 1907. Exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum, NY 1920 -1940, Boston Fine Art 1945-60, Museum of Man CA 1968. Necklace: private collection, Switzerland, acquired in Alexandria, Egypt in the 1950/60’s and imported into the USA in 1970’s, then by descent.
An Egyptian Gold-Inlaid Bronze Falcon, Third Intermediate Period, ca. 900 - 600 BCE
EB1907Regular price $15,000 USD
Portraying the powerful Horus as a falcon-headed man, shown striding on a rectangular base, left foot advanced, wearing a tripartite wig and shendyt-kilt, both incised and inlaid with gold wire, with both arms extended in front, the palm of his right hand turned upward, the left holding a sceptre.
Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, was a popular god in Egypt and was worshipped as the god of the sky and a god of the sun. Amulets of Horus as either a falcon or falcon-headed man were common, as the pharaoh of Egypt was thought to be an incarnation of Horus.
Published: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2012, no. 189 and J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, vol. XIII, 2002, no.161.
Dimensions: Height: 3 1/4 inches (8 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private English collection.
An Egyptian Bronze Situla, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EB1904Regular price $15,000 USD
Finely cast using the lost wax method, this fine, tapering vessel features a rolled rim, and rounded bottom with a knobbed base. It is decorated in raised relief, the upper register with two solar barques symbolizing the journey into the afterlife, the wide central register with a priest, incised text above, making an offering to a procession of deities, making offerings to a procession of deities, including Isis with cow-horn crown, Nephthys, and Amun-Ra, each holding the life sign ankh in their right hand and a was scepter in their left, the lower register showing Harpokrates with Hathor cows flanking a lotus, the pointed base in the form of a lotus flower; recurrent in Egyptian descriptions of the birth of the universe.
Background: A Situla was a sacred vessel used for religious ceremonies, the situla is a very small round-bottomed bucket or pail, usually cast from bronze and decorated with mythological motifs. During the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, the situla was carried by the priests of Isis and used in rituals and processions. The situla held holy water from the Nile or milk as a symbol of Isis in her form as a mother goddess.
Dimensions: Height: 5 3/4 inches (14.6 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall. A very fine example.
Provenance: Georgiou family collection, acquired 1962 and kept until 1997, Munich, Germany. Private collection, Belgium, Mrs. R., 1997-2012, thereafter the Harer Family Trust Collection.
A large Egyptian Black-topped Redware Vessel, Pre-Dynastic Period, 3600-3400 BCE
EP1803Regular price $15,000 USD
This very large and impressive vessel is a superb example of Amratian-period black-topped red pottery. The vessel stands on a small, flat base tapering outward to a rounded shoulder under a wide mouth with slightly flared rim. The exterior is beautifully coated with a thin red iron-oxide wash that was burnished to a lustrous finish, probably by using a pebble. The blacktop is carbon, produced by subjecting the top of the vessel to the actions of dense smoke. The vessel was made by hand using coil construction (the process is still visible on the inside).
Called B-ware by W.M. Flinders Petrie because of their distinctive black rims, black-topped beakers and bowls made of riverine clay are a hallmark of the Naqada Ic-IIb Period. For very similar examples refer:
1) Hayes, William "The Scepter of Egypt, A background study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art" Volume I, Figure 7 page 16;
2) Cleveland Museum "Catalogue of Egyptian Art" 1999 #48;
3) Detroit Institute of Arts, McKissick Museum and the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute of the University of South Carolina, "The First Egyptians", page 52.
Dimensions: Height: 11.8 inches (30 cm)
Condition: Aside from a small repair to the rim, the vessel is intact and of museum quality, with some areas of the blacktop showing an almost metallic sheen. The burnished red surface of the vessel exhibits a fine craquelure where preserved, with losses relating to erosion or soluble salt efflorescence. A definite highlight of any Ancient Egyptian collection.
Provenance: Private Californian collection, acquired prior 1972 and then by descent, thereafter private collection of a Florida doctor from 2003.
An Egyptian Bronze Mirror Handle of a Nude Woman, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550-1295 BCE
EB1602Regular price $15,000 USD
A superb Egyptian bronze mirror handle of a naked woman shown with her hands by her side and wearing a hairstyle of thick braided hair popular during the middle of the 18th Dynasty. She is capped with a perfectly proportioned umbel of a papyrus plant that forms the mounting for a reflecting disc, now missing.
The identity of these erotic female figures is debated, variously attributed to generic females, to priestesses of Hathor, or even to the actual deity. Others further suggest that gazing into the mirror could actually put the viewer in contact with the goddess herself. Votive mirrors with scenes of Hathor and other goddesses etched into the surface seem to confirm this association.
Such girls were associated with fecundity and rejuvenation, and when the mirror was offered as a grave gift, it would evoke rebirth in the afterlife. Many mirrors have textile impressions, suggesting that they were covered with cloth when placed in the tomb, evoking the Jewish custom of covering the mirrors in the house of a person recently deceased.
Lacovara, Peter. The World of Ancient Egypt: A Daily Life Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Daily Life Encyclopedia (p. 180). ABC-CLIO. Kindle Edition.
Published: C. Derricks, Les miroirs cariatides égyptiens en bronze, Mainz, 2001, p. 150, no. 42.
Condition: Minor loss to each terminal, and small repair to feet, mirror disc now missing but the handle is complete and in excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 4 1/4 inches (10.8 cm)
Provenance: Ex Simone de Monbrison, Paris, 1978.
An Egyptian Bronze Horus Falcon on a Sarcophagus, 26th Dynasty, ca. 646-525 BCE
EB1411Regular price $12,500 USD
Depicting the god Horus as a falcon, this well cast, and richly detailed falcon wears the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, fronted by the royal uraeus. The head has lidded oval eyes and a hooked beak. Thick, heavy ridges of the legs and rough skin of the talons contrast with the delicacy of the engraved feathering on the closed wings, uniting the power and majesty of the falcon. The falcon is centrally positioned on a rectangular sarcophagus, the narrow box tapering to a cavetto cornice, that originally housed either representative bones or the body of a small falcon.
Background: The soaring flight and predatory character of the falcon linked the mighty raptor to the god of the living king, Horus, early in the pharaonic tradition. The living king of Egypt was identified as an earthly Horus, and from the late Predynastic Period (c. 3100 BCE), the king bore a special royal “Horus name.” The falcon, as the sacred animal of Horus, came to symbolize divine kingship, as the king was the earthly representation of Horus. The common appearance of the Double Crown and uraeus on bronze figurines of falcons reinforces this royal connection. The falcon was also associated with the sky, with its eyes representing the sun and the moon and its large wings outspread to protect the earth below. Later, the falcon became associated with the sun god Re, bearing a sun disc on its head (known as Re-Harakhty). Other gods also had falcons as their sacred animals, such as Montu the god of war, who is distinguished by a double-plume headdress.
As with so many animals associated with the divine realm, during the later periods the falcon became the focus of mummification, burial, and votive offerings. The numerous bronze falcon statuettes are characterized by their upright, yet resting, stance with wings folded at the side. They range in size from small ornaments to large, freestanding figures with many of the larger examples hollow-cast with an inner compartment in which an actual bird could be deposited. Hundreds of thousands of mummified falcons were buried in extensive catacombs at sacred sites throughout Egypt. The Greco-Roman period temples at Philae and Edfu represent the final flourishing of the cult.
Hanfmann, G and Rowland, B. Jr., "Ancient Art at the Fogg Museum", Archaeology, Vol. 7, No. 3, 130-37.
Hart, George A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. (1986) Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, United Kingdom, p. 94.
Redford, Donald B. The Ancient Gods Speak. (2002) Oxford University Press, New York, NY. p.166.
Parallels: D. Pacha, Collection d'Antiquités Égyptiennes de Tigrane Pacha d'Abro, Paris, 1911, no. 28, pl. XVII.
Museum of Archaeology at Staten Island, Divine Images and Other Fabulous Creatures, Staten Island, 1978, no. 10.
R. Merhav, et al., A Glimpse Into the Past: The Joseph Ternbach Collection, Jerusalem, 1981, no. 121.
Condition: With a patina of rich dark brown with green, black, and red, the sarcophagus has lost the sealing plate at the back and there is also a small amount of loss to the right wall and base, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. Mounted on a black museum-quality custom base (not shown in photos).
Dimensions: Height: 12.7 cm (5 inches), Length: 13.33 cm (5.25 inches)
Provenance: Private collection of Elsa and Dr. Pierre H. Bloch-Diener, Bern Switzerland, acquired between 1965 and 1983, private collection of Dr. R. Bigler acquired in 1987, the private collection of Jeffrey Simpson, Acton MA, acquired after 1994 from the NY trade.
An Egyptian Limestone Sculptor's Model of a Pharaoh, Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332 - 30 BCE
ES1902Regular price $9,500 USD
The well carved, idealized head with an oval face, almond-shaped eyes, upturned mouth and wide nose, the nemes-headcloth tucked behind the ears, long lappets over each shoulder.
There are two schools of thought regarding the purpose of these so-called "sculptor's models." Because they are small, usually represent deities or kings, and are often unfinished, it is plausible that they were demonstration pieces for a sculptor’s apprentice to copy. Alternatively, they could have been votive offerings deposited in temples.
For a similar example, see Nadja Samir Tomoum, The Sculptors’ Models of the Late and Ptolemaic Periods: A Study of the Type and Function of a Group of Ancient Egyptian Artefacts (Cairo, 2005), pl.24/c
Ref: E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: Masterworks of Ancient Art from the British Museum, (London 2001), p. 250-1, no. 139.
C.C. Edgar, Sculptors’ Studies and Unfinished Works (Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire, nos. 33301-33506) (Cairo, 1906), esp. pls. VIII-XIV, nos 33340, 33342, 33346, 33355;
N.S. Tomoum, The Sculptors’ Models of the Late and Ptolemaic Periods. A Study of the Type and Function of a Group of Ancient Egyptian Artefacts (Cairo, 2005);
Eric Young, "Sculptors' Models or Votives? In Defense of a Scholarly Tradition", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 22 (New York, 1964), p. 247-256.
Dimensions: Height: 4 3/4 inches (12 cm)
Condition: Some wear to the surface, with chipping to the face and losses to the edges.
Provenance: J.L. private collection, Texas, acquired in the mid-1990s from the NY trade.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Ra-ia, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1293 – 1185 BCE
EU2118Regular price $7,500 USD
From the time of Ramesses II, of deep blue glazed faience, shown mummiform, with the features in applied black. Slim and handsomely proportioned, the well-modeled features include a truly charming face with large accented eyes and eyebrows. Wearing a tripartite wig, a broad usekh collar, and holding agricultural implements in each hand, the back undecorated. A vertical column of text on front naming “Ra-Ia” as the owner reads: “ The Osiris, Ra-ia, True of voice.”
Raia, Chief of Singers in the temple of Ptah. Wife: Mutemwia (Songstress of Amun). Raia was a contemporary of Paser and Tjuneroy. His tomb is close to that of Paser. [Bart (128)].
Dimensions: Height: 14.7 cm (5.8 inches)
Condition: Intact and excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Cannes Encheres Paris Auction, 4 Jul 2004, Lot 241, private Virginia collection acquired from the Canadian trade, post Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University Ushabti Research Project, Atlanta, GA, 2014. French Passport no. 139391.
An Egyptian Faience Shabti for Hor-Ir-Aa, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
EU2109Regular price $7,500 USD
Shown mummiform, made from faience with very pale cream/green glaze, with a tripartite wig, divine pleated beard, facial details in high-quality relief, the hands crossed over chest carrying pair of hoes, a seed bag on cord suspended over the left shoulder, with dorsal pillar and trapezoidal base, seven horizontal bands of incised hieroglyphic text wrapped around legs naming the owner as Hor-ir-aa. The inscription reads “The illuminated one, the Osiris, the Overseer of the Antechamber, Hor-ir-aa, Justified, he speaks: O this ushabti…” (Janes).
The intact tomb of Hor-ir-aa was discovered in the SE corner of the Step Pyramid in Saqqara and contained about 400 shabtis. Hor-ir-aa was in charge of the education of the pharaoh’s children – Necho II, Psamtek II, and possibly Apries (Janes).
Dimensions: Height: 17.5 cm (6.9 inches)
Condition: Complete, legs rejoined in two places and repaired, chipped beard, lost glaze. Originally listed as limestone at auction but it is faience.
Provenance: Private Virginia collection, acquired from the Paris trade in 2012. Ex. French private collection of Bernard & Bertrand Bottet, 1940 – 1960. Bernard Bottet, was a French painter and archaeologist through the mid 20th century. He led several excavations of the gravel pits in his native region of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in France, discovering various prehistoric objects. He and his son Bertrand established a collection of African, Oceanic, American, Asian, European, and Mediterranean art and antiquities.
Art Loss Register Certificate number S00059780.
An Egyptian Faience Lotus Terminal, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550 - 1295 BCE
EJ1809Regular price $7,500 USD
A broad collar terminal in the form of a lotus, comprising of yellow, green, red, white, and blue glazed faience. Pierced for attachment.
Dimensions: Length: 5.2 cm ( 2 inches), Width: 4.8 (1.9 inches)
Condition: Broken right corner professionally rejoined, otherwise complete.
Provenance: Private collection of former French diplomat Noel Giron (1884–1941). Giron, (or Aime-Giron, as he called himself after his famous father, the poet and the editor of Le Figaro) was a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre, where he studied Egyptian, Demotic, and Coptic under Eugene Revillout. Giron also studied religious studies, history, classical philology, and modern oriental languages at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes de la Sorbonne. Giron originally planned to attend the Institut francais d'archeologie orientale and pursue an academic career, but he abandoned that plan and became a career diplomat in the French foreign ministry instead. He nevertheless maintained his scholarly interest in texts, especially inscriptions in languages as diverse as Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Nabatean, Persian, Phoenician, and Greek. Although scholarship was but an avocation for him, he published several scholarly works. He published Legendes Coptes in 1907, and although the bibliographic record of his publications does not show it, he remained interested in the indigenous language of Egypt for the rest of his life.