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 Amethyst Hippopotamus Head Amulet, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2017 - 1730 BCE
EA2035Regular price $7,500 USD
Masterfully carved from bright amethyst, the hippopotamus head featuring a large snout, incised mouth, bulging eyes, and protruding ears at the back of the head, characteristically flat-backed and pierced through the side for attachment.
Hippopotamus amulets were worn to protect their wearers from the notoriously bad-tempered animals. Common inhabitants of the Nile, hippos were aggressive and very large, posing serious danger for those on the river. While protection was imperative, the hippopotamus was also linked with regeneration; it lived in the renewing waters of the Nile and was believed to roar noisily at dawn and dusk, thus linking itself with the sun's passage and the symbolism of death and rebirth.
Ref: Carol Andrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London: British Museum Press (1994) p. 64.
For a similar example, see: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, accession number 10.130.2310
Dimensions: Length: 6 mm (0.24 inches)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Ronald Parct collection, New York, acquired Sotheby Parke Bernet, 3/20/1968, lot #52 (part). Sold with a copy of the original invoice.
An Egyptian Wood Figure of Imsety, Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332 - 30 BCE
EW1912Regular price $7,500 USD
Mummiform, hands appearing from the beaded shroud, wearing a tripartite wig with an usekh necklace, the legs painted with a column of hieroglyphs including his name.
One of the four sons of Horus, the human-headed god was the protector of the liver and his head was depicted on the corresponding canopic lid. Each jar was in turn protected by a goddess; Imsety was protected by his mother Isis. His role was to help revivify the corpse of the dead person; to literally lift them up as standing was equated with life and laying prone with death.
Dimensions: Height: 11 5/8 inches (29.5 cm)
Condition: Some minor polychrome losses otherwise intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: John Kluge collection, Charlottesville, VA, ex Royal-Athena in 1988; W. R., New Orleans; French collection.
A large Egyptian Wood Mummy Mask, Late Period, ca 664 - 332 BCE
EW2102Regular price $5,500 USD
Condition: Overall in very good condition with some wear and pitting, excellent original polychrome remains. Custom mounted to museum standards in black picture frame.
Dimensions: Height: 12 inches (30.5 cm) Frame: 22.5" (57 cm) H x 12.5" W (31.75)
Provenance: Dr. Ulrich Mueller private collection, Switzerland, acquired between 1968 -1978.
An Egyptian Alabastron with a detachable lid, Late - Ptolemaic Period, ca. 664 - 30 BCE
EV1902Regular price $5,000 USD
Of rounded form, a small mouth at the top covered by a lid with two small lug handles, a carinated neck, and everted rim.
Dimensions: Height: 4 3/4 inches (12 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private NY collection, acquired from the English trade in the late 1990’s.
A rare Amarna Glass Pomegranate Pendant, New Kingdom, ca. 1353 - 1336 BCE
EJ1907Regular price $5,000 USD
In characteristic pomegranate form, the globular body and flaring top of dark blue glass, the scalloped rim of red glass, and the suspension loop of lighter blue glass.
Pomegranates were first brought back to Egypt at the beginning of the New Kingdom from Western Asia and quickly became a popular motif for jewelry, amulets, and vessels.
cf: B. Nolte. Die Glassgefässe im Alten Ägypten. Munich. Munchener Ägyptologische Studien. 14, #128 and fragmentary example, Petrie Museum,
Dimensions: Length: 2.8 cm (1.1 inches)
Condition: Repaired from several pieces.
Provenance: Private English collection, acquired in the 1950s, thereafter J.B. collection, United Kingdom, acquired from the English trade in 2011.
An Egyptian Blue Faience Offering Cup for Ramesses the Great, 19th Dynasty ca. 1279-1213 BCE
EF1905Regular price $5,000 USD
of bright blue glazed faience, the cylindrical form tapering to a slightly flared foot and rounded rim, the exterior with royal rectangular panel inscribed in black hieroglyphic text in two columns including a cartouche containing the throne name for Ramesses II, (Ramesses the Great) that reads: "Lord of the Two Lands, User-maat-re Setep-en-re [R. II], beloved of Ptah, king of the gods."
Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty. Often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, his successors, and later Egyptians referred to him as the "Great Ancestor".
He is known as Ozymandias in Greek sources (Koinē Greek: Οσυμανδύας Osymandýas), from the first part of Ramesses' regnal name, Usermaatre Setepenre, "The Maat of Ra is powerful, Chosen of Ra".
Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant, reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan. He also led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein. The early part of his reign was focused on building cities, temples, and monuments. He established the city of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta as his new capital and used it as the main base for his campaigns in Syria. At fourteen, he was appointed prince regent by his father, Seti I. He is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BC. On his death, he was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings; his body was later moved to a royal cache where it was discovered in 1881 and is now on display in the Egyptian Museum.
Offering cups of this style were made to commemorate the construction of a building, principally temples, honoring the reigning monarch. They were manufactured on the authorization of pharaoh and were considered a personal tribute to him. The cups were buried in caches within the foundations of temples.
For related examples see: Freidman, "Gifts of the Nile, Ancient Egyptian Faience" #57.
Dimensions: Height: 5.3 cm (2 inches)
Condition: Heavy surface deposits but intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Private collection of Florent Dalq (1878 - 1950), Gilly/Charleroi, Belgium (acquired from the Antiquities Service, Cairo in 1923), thereafter private NY collection.
An Egyptian Faience Amulet of a Recumbent Lion, Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332 - 30 BCE
EA2118Regular price $4,500 USD
With exceptional detail, a very fine pale turquoise glazed faience amulet in the form of a recumbent lion, on an integrated base, the front paws outstretched, the tail curling around the right haunch, a loop for attachment at the top.
Throughout Egyptian history, the lion played an important role in religious beliefs and was represented in Egyptian art since the earliest periods. As the lion was regarded as the mightily changing aspect of the sun, the funerary bier was quite often in the guise of a lion bed; a place of resting and rejuvenation for the returning sun. The lion is also depicted on the astronomical ceiling of the tomb of Seti 1, as a guardian within the place of eternity, and was one of the apotropaic gods. In Persian times, the lion was venerated as the god Mahes assimilated to Nefertem. The hoop on the spine for suspension recalls a protective spell against snakes when it is sewn on red linen. Overall, this lion amulet guaranteed its owner not only the animal's strength and courage but also its regenerative powers.
Dimensions: Height: 4 cm (1.57 inches)
Condition: Very minor chip to the left ear, very small loss to the right corner of base restored, neither of which detract, overall intact and in excellent condition.
Provenance: Ex. Charles Gillot Collection (1853 - 1903), France, thereafter a private Virginia collection, acquired in 2015.
Published: Christie's Paris, March 4-5 2008, lot 123; and Christie's London, October 7, 2010, lot 323.
An Egyptian Faience Overseer Shabti for Nefy, Dynasty 19, ca. 1293 – 1070 BCE
EU2112Regular price $4,500 USD
The mummiform faience ushabti with black details, in daily dress wearing a duplex wig, face with eyes in black, arms crossed over the chest, hands holding agricultural implements, seed sack centered on the back, a single column of hieroglyphic text naming the deceased as “nefy” that reads: “The Osiris, the God’s father (high priest) Nefy, justified".
Dimensions: Height: 12.6 cm (4.9 inches)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.
Provenance: John Rilling private collection, Orange County, CA, acquired in the 1970s, then to his wife. Mr. Rilling died in 2008, and stopped acquiring in the 1990’s, carefully selecting items from major auction houses in the US and the UK. Thereafter, private Virginia collection, acquired in 2011.
An Egyptian Wooden Mummy Mask, 21st Dynasty, ca. 1069 - 945 BCE
EW2010Regular price $4,500 USD
Condition: Age-related cracks in the wood, flaking on the stucco layer, otherwise in very good condition. Mounted on a base with a back wall. A lovely example.
Dimensions: Height: 10 1/2 inches (26.5 cm)
Provenance: From JS private collection, southern Germany, acquired in the English art trade in the 1970s - 1980s.
An Amarna Faience Bead and Floral Pendant Necklace, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1353-1336 BCE
EJ1832Regular price $4,250 USD
This lovely necklace of brightly colored faience ring beads, is re-strung with flat backed pendants from a broad collar; a durable version of the elaborate perishable floral collars worn by banquet guests. Here, nine white pendants with their shaded yellow tops and mauve tips representing the white lotus, alternate with eight blue faience pendants. Such growing plants were inherently symbolic of new life, but some flowers also open each morning, reconfirming the idea of resurrection. Such pendants are characteristic of the Eighteenth Dynasty and made almost exclusively of multi-colored glazed composition with a suspension loop at the top and sometimes at the bottom.
cf: Tomashevska, Marija. “Sacred floral garlands and collars from the New Kingdom and early Third Intermediate Period in Ancient Egypt 1550 B.C. – 943 B.C.” Marija Tomashevska, 2019.
Dimensions: Length: 17 3/4 in (45.08 cm)
Condition: Some loops missing on the pendants otherwise intact and in good condition overall. The necklace has been restrung with 18K gold s-clasp.
Provenance: Foxwell private collection (U.K), acquired between 1930 and 1950.
An Egyptian Blue Faience Shabti, Dynasty 30 - early Ptolemaic Period, ca 380 - 250 BCE
EU2121Regular price $4,000 USD
of bright turquoise glazed faience, standing on a trapezoidal base, molded in mummiform, wearing a tripartite wig and divine beard. The face is well defined with an incised mouth, almond-shaped eyes, the arms are crossed on the chest, hands protrude from a shroud, the fists holding a crook and flail for work in the afterlife, the right hand also holding a twisted rope connected to a seed sack behind the left shoulder. Two horizontal lines and one vertical line of inscription in a darker blue glaze to the front with shallow dorsal pillar at back.
Dimensions: Height: 6 1/4 inches (16 cm)
Condition: Heavy resting deposits to right shoulder/side, minor glaze loss to pick above right hand, intact and excellent condition overall.
Provenance: Almost certainly acquired by either William James (1854-1912) or his brother Frank James (1851-1890), who both traveled extensively in Egypt and the rest of Africa, and by descent to Edward James (1907-1984) in London and later at Monkton House; subsequently moved to West Dean House circa 1986 (recorded there in 1987). Current owner Edward James Foundation, London circa 1900, sold through Christie's, London, 15 Dec 2016, lot #93.
A large Egyptian Two-Toned Faience Shabti, Dynasty 30, ca. 380 – 343 BCE
EU2117Regular price $4,000 USD
Shown mummiform, of faience with light blue and cobalt blue glaze, the details in relief, with a tripartite wig, divine beard, facial details in low relief, hands crossed over chest carrying a pic and hoe in relief, seed bag on cord suspended over the left shoulder, with dorsal pillar and trapezoidal base, undedicated with no inscription.
Dimensions: Height: 6 inches (15.24 cm)
Condition: Minor glaze losses and unevenness to glaze that does not detract, otherwise intact and very good condition overall with excellent contrast between the two glazes.
Provenance: Ex: JME collection, NY, acquired Christie's London, Oct 2000, lot # 456, at this sale the shabti was accompanied by an invoice from Spink & Son Ltd., London, September 1962 (now missing) but noted in the 2000 auction.
An Egyptian Lidded Cosmetic Jar, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2030-1640 BCE
EV1603Regular price $4,000 USD
Used for storing kohl (eye paint), this elegant squat jar of creamy pink breccia has smooth convex sides that swell upward from a small, footed base into a high shoulder leading to a two piece wide, angled rim that detaches. As is common with this type of vessel, drilling of the interior is narrow and does not conform to the shape of the body. Egyptians used kohl extensively, both to emphasize and protect their eyes. The wide rim of this small pot meant that small crumbs of this precious product, from distant Arabian mines by the Red Sea, were not wasted.
Dimensions: Height: 2 3/8 inches (6 cm)
Condition: Some light scattered surface deposits. Some ancient loss to the foot and lid rim and a tight hairline in one side, otherwise intact, exc. cond. A rare example.
Provenance: J.H.H. Claessen private collection, Bladel, Holland, assembled prior to 1975 then by descent.
An Egyptian Broad Collar Faience Necklace, Late Period, ca. 664-332 BCE
EJ1418Regular price $4,000 USD
Composed of varying shades of ancient blue and green glazed faience, this broad collar necklace is typical of the type of jewellery produced as part of every funerary outfit. This example consists of a row of cylindrical beads strung on edge, with a row of cylindrical and spherical beads strung together lengthwise below.
Faience was a very versatile material and extremely well suited to making small items such as elements of jewellery. It was cheap to make and could be used to manufacture jewellery on an industrial scale.The material, sometimes termed 'glazed composition' from the technique used, was produced by heating crushed quartz and natron, with a pigment, until they fused.
Dimensions: Bead edge length: 11 inches (28 cm), Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm) Length with stringing: 24 inches (61 cm)
Condition: intact and in very good condition overall, still with original 19th century cotton stringing.
Provenance: Private Maine collection, acquired in Egypt in the 1890's and then by descent.