Rupert Wace Ancient Art

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Egyptian

  - Egyptian limestone stela for Intef and Mrw

Egyptian limestone stela for Intef and Mrw

First Intermediate Period. Heracleopolitan Period, probably 10th Dynasty, c. 2050 BC

Provenance:
Collection of Lance Corporal Charles Edward Roffey, UK; acquired Egypt 1940s and thence by descent

Literature:

Description:
Dimensions: 56 x 67.9 cm

This is a rare example of a Heracleopolitan Period stele, possibly from Thebes or Dendara. Shown in right profile within a recessed field, the deceased, Intef (or Antef), wears a short braided wig, broad collar, and kilt. He holds a staff in his advanced left hand and an ankh in his lowered right. He is accompanied by his wife Mrw (or Meru), who stands to the left wearing a long wig, collar, and sheath dress, resting her left hand on his shoulder. An inscription in front of each figure identifies them as 'The revered, Intef' and 'His wife, Mrw.' They face a table with offerings and a small figure holding a Hs vase, probably their son.

An inscription along the top reads: (1) 'An offering that the king gives and (that) Osiris (gives), lord of Busiris, the great god, lord of Abydos in all his beautiful (cult) places, (namely) an invocation-offering with the great god, lord of the sky, for the revered one' (2) '... Intef... He says 'I carried out the command of my ruler, as for every mission on which I was sent, I carried (it) out in its proper way...', a further inscription in a vertical column to the right of the stele reads, 'a gift which the king gives to Anubis who is on his mountain....'.

Condition:
Old breaks consolidated, lower right corner missing, lower left corner worn, small chips to edges, some surface wear to figure of son.

  - Egyptian bronze of Osorkon II

Egyptian bronze of Osorkon II

Third Intermediate Period. 22nd Dynasty, Reign of Osorkon II, c. 874-850 BC

Provenance:
Gayer-Anderson collection acquired prior to 1914; Collection of Mrs Christian R. Holmes (1871-1941), New York; Sold Sotheby’s Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 15th-18th April, 1942, lot no. 251 (catalogued as found at Luxor); Collection of Charles Bouché (1928-2010), Paris

Literature:
Published: J. Yoyotte, 'Petits monuments de l'époque libyenne,' Kemi 21 (1971), pp. 47-48, pl. VII-VIII.
E. Russmann, 'An Egyptian royal statuette of the eighth century BC,' in W. K. Simpson and W. M. Davis (eds) Studies in Ancient Egypt, the Aegean and the Sudan: Essays in Honor of Dows Dunham (Boston, 1981), p. 153, n. 27.
C. Ziegler, 'Les arts du métal à la Troisième Période Intermédiaire', in Tanis: L'or des pharaons (exh. cat. Paris, 1987), pp. 88 (ill.)-89.
K. Myśliwiec, Royal Portraiture of the Dynasties XXI-XXX (Mainz am Rhein, 1988), pp. 17, 24.
M. Hill, Royal Bronze Statuary from Ancient Egypt: With Special Attention to the Kneeling Pose (Boston, 2004), pp. 31-32, 155, no. 11, pl. 15.

For detailed discussion of the kneeling statue type and its uses, including parallels, see Hill 2004; and for a complete example, compare a bronze of Thutmose IV in the British Museum (inv. no. EA64564) showing the king holding two large ‘nw’-pots.

Description:
Height: 11cm

With head and torso preserved, wearing a striped ‘nemes’ headdress with high dome, wide frontlet, and central uraeus cobra, the snake’s head, now missing, rising above the forehead band, its body forming two symmetrical loops at the front of the king’s head, then running over the top of the headdress. The king’s oval face carries a striking likeness, with almond-shaped eyes with raised rims, conforming brows, and narrow, extended cosmetic lines, high cheek-bones, and curved lips. The lappets of the ‘nemes’ hang down behind his ears onto his chest, which is naturalistically modelled with delineated nipples and narrow waist; at the back, the ‘nemes’ is gathered into a braid between his shoulder-blades. He wears a broad belt, which dips and tapers slightly in front, decorated with a pattern of parallel curved lines and carrying traces of gilding. A large cartouche on his chest bears the prenomen, Usermaatre Sotepenimen, "Ousimaré the chosen of Amun".

The kilt and legs of this finely-worked bronze are missing below the belt, as are the separately cast arms, which would have been attached by horizontal T-shaped tenons fitting into mortises opening onto the back of the statuette (see Hill 2004, p. 155). The bronze is hollow cast, with the core still present, and likely depicted the king in a kneeling position. This was a popular type of small bronze statuary, clearly associated with ritual roles, that was especially prevalent during the Third Intermediate, Late, and Ptolemaic Periods; indeed, the majority of royal bronze statues adopt a kneeling pose. The composition followed a standard formula, with the king's knees and toes on the ground, the buttocks resting on the heels, the torso erect, and the arms and hands variously positioned, sometimes empty, sometimes holding out a votive gift. These bronzes were displayed inside temples or in other ritual contexts, and served as visual 'enactments' of the ritual relationship between man and god, either showing the king making an offering or in a pose expressing devotion; they were, of course, also precious gifts to the gods in their own right.

The statuette has been identified by Jean Yoyotte as Osorkon II (874-850 BC) based on a general similarity of the profile to relief representations of the king, as well as a graphic peculiarity of the king's prenomen, whereby the ’I of ’Imn is raised to stand in front of the Wsr of Usermaatre in vertical writings of the name. However, the prenomen was shared with Pedubaste I (818-793 BC) and with Osorkon III (787-759 BC), while the facial features bear some resemblance to those of Osorkon I (see Hill 2004, pp. 31-32).

Condition:
Legs and separately cast arms missing; rough break beneath belt. Head of uraeus cobra also lost. Brown patina over all. Some wear to the tip and bridge of the nose and between the eyebrows, traces of gilding on front of belt. Bouché collection number on small of back, reading B.60.S.57. Mounted.

  - Egyptian bronze oxyrinchus

Egyptian bronze oxyrinchus

Late Dynastic Period. 25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC

Provenance:
Private collection France, acquired in the 1970s

Literature:

Description:
The fish, with its distinctive long, down-turned snout, is crowned with uraei, cow's horns and sun disc with double suspension loop behind. It wears a broad beaded collar around its gills and has hollow eyes recessed for inlay (now missing). It is perched on a sled, supported by its tail, rear fin and a striated prop below its belly.

Length: 11.6 cm

  - Egyptian alabaster cosmetic vessel with lid

Egyptian alabaster cosmetic vessel with lid

Middle Kingdom. 11th-12th Dynasty, 2040-1801 BC

Provenance:
Knoop collection, USA, probably acquired 1950s.
Bill and Jeanne Knoop married in 1946 and started collecting in 1948. They were avid and eclectic collectors, their passions and focus changing over the years, encompassing at various times Pilgrim furniture, early lighting, inlaid boxes, treen, ivory miniatures, needleworks, nautical and whaling artifacts from New England. Their earliest collection, however, was of Egyptian artefacts, an area of interest which was sparked by a visit in the late 1940s to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Jeanne subsequently took advice from curators regarding reputable dealers.

Literature:

Description:
The squat body flares from a low angled foot to broad shoulders with thick integral circular rim. The original flat disc lid with circular projection on the underside to locate on the vessel and seal. The interior with traces of kohl.

Height: 4 cm Diameter of lid: 3.8 cm

  - Egyptian black-top jar

Egyptian black-top jar

Predynastic Period. Naqada I-II, c. 4000-3250 BC

Provenance:
Private collection UK, acquired at Christies London between 1956 and 1960

Literature:

Description:
Height: 30 cm

The elongated ovoid body rises from a small flat foot to a short neck with everted lip. The red and burnt black surface is burnished to a dull sheen.
The vessel restored from original fragments.

This comes with a thermoluminescence test report from Oxford Authentication confirming its antiquity.

Black-topped pottery vessels, made of fired Nile silt, have a polished red coloured lower surface, sometimes enhanced by a red slip. Below the rim is a blackened area probably caused by the vessel being fired with its mouth pushed into the ashes with the body exposed to the air, although it is also suggested that it was placed in some type of organic matter immediately after firing. This carbonization was employed solely to obtain a desired colour effect, and was obviously deliberate for the even firing of pottery in a kiln had been practiced for centuries. The blackened area is also polished, giving it an almost metallic sheen.

Exhibited: 'The Middle Class go To Heaven', Condo 2017, Galerie Max Mayer & CHEWDAY’S
Egyptian Funerary Objects, Jef Geys and Nicolás Guagnini, 14 January 2017 – 11 February, 2017

  - Egyptian predynastic painted pottery jar

Egyptian predynastic painted pottery jar

Naqada II, Gerzean, 3700-3250 BC

Provenance:
Collection of Ernest Seymour Thomas (d.1936), UK, acquired in the early 20th Century and thence by descent.
The ethnographer and artist, Ernest Seymour Thomas worked in Cairo for the Royal Geographical Society, writing a catalogue of the Ethnographical collections, which was published in 1924. He went on to be appointed assistant curator to the Pitt Rivers Museum by Henry Balfour in the early 1920s.

Literature:

Description:
Height: 10 cm Width: 14.5 cm

The jar of compressed globular form with lug handles and a flat everted rim. The body decorated in red slip with six vertical hatched panels, similar horizontal bands below the handles which also bear hatching. The base painted with concentric rings and the rim with six groups of six straight lines.

This comes with a thermoluminescence test report from Oxford Authentication confirming its antiquity.

  - Large Egyptian alabaster piriform vessel

Large Egyptian alabaster piriform vessel

Early Dynastic Period. 1st-2nd Dynasty, 2972-2647 BC

Provenance:
Private collection Switzerland, acquired 1960s and thence by descent

Literature:

Description:
Height: 51 cm

Carved from an alabaster with attractive banding, the elongated body of this large but elegant vessel tapers to a small, almost flat base. A thick, everted rim, to the narrow neck.

Some old chips to surface and one small area of loss filled.

  - Egyptian green schist bowl

Egyptian green schist bowl

Early Dynastic Period. 1st-2nd Dynasty, 2972-2647 BC

Provenance:
Collection of S. Kouklevski, Paris, acquired 2004

Literature:

Description:
Diameter: 36 cm

This sizeable dish of an elegant shallow form is carved with a recessed tondo and sharp inturned rim.

A fine hairline fissure on the interior but complete and in excellent condition.

  - Egyptian inlaid and gilded bronze Atef crown attachment

Egyptian inlaid and gilded bronze Atef crown attachment

Late Dynastic Period. 25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC

Provenance:
Private collection USA, acquired in Israel 1970s, and thence by descent

Literature:

Description:
Dimensions: 13.8 x 12.9 cm

Originally adorning an atef crown, most probably from a wooden statue of Osiris, the finely-worked ornament consisting of a twisted Apis horn surmounted by a partial maat feather with incised veins, and a uraeus cobra wearing a large sun-disc with gold foil overlay, the broad hood set with turquoise, carnelian, and orange stone inlays, the mouth, eyes, and striated belly naturalistically-rendered, the long tail curling behind the maat feather along the curves of the horn; single integral tang at base of horn for attachment.

The atef crown, which combines the tall domed Hedjet crown of Upper Egypt with two flanking ostrich feathers and is generally worn on top of a wig adorned with circlet and Apis horns, is closely associated with Osiris, but may also be worn by other deities. From the New Kingdom onwards, it typically also incorporates uraei and sun-discs, as on the present example.

Condition:
The maat feather broken just above the uraeus' sun-disc; minor loss to gold foil; brown patina over all, some areas of light green encrustation to the back of the feather.

  - Egyptian bronze statuette of Khonsu

Egyptian bronze statuette of Khonsu

Late Dynastic Period. 25th-31st Dynasty, 715-332 BC

Provenance:
Private collection France, acquired 1970s

Literature:

Description:
Height: 15.5 cm

Shown mummiform, holding both the djed-sceptre of Ptah, and the hook and flail of Osiris to his chest, his right hand placed above his left, wearing a false beard, sidelock, and broad usekh collar with tasselled trim and striated menat hanging at the back of the neck, his forehead crowned with a uraeus cobra, his head surmounted with a crescent and lunar disc.

This fine bronze combines the attributes of four separate Egyptian deities: Khonsu, Ptah, Osiris, and Iah. This is typical of representations of Khonsu from Lower Egypt, as is the placement of the hands, and conveys different aspects of his divinity. For example, the lunar disc points to his role as god of the moon and defender of those who travel at night, aligning him with Thoth and Iah: as Khonsupakhered, he was the personification of the light of the crescent moon, and thus of rebirth and regeneration. The child's sidelock, associated with Harpocrates, refers to his status at Thebes, where he was venerated with the name Khonsou-Neferhotep as the child of Amun and Mut; he also shared an epithet with Ptah, 'lord of Ma'at', and in the later period was associated with Osiris as respective personifications of the sun and moon.

Condition:
Repaired break at waist. Dark green patina over all.

  - Egyptian rose granite head of a cobra

Egyptian rose granite head of a cobra

New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty, 1540-1295 BC

Provenance:
With Jean-David Cahn, Switzerland 2004; with Charles Ede 2009; Collection of Seward Kennedy, London acquired 2015

Literature:

Description:
An over life size head of a snake, probably a Uraeus from a colossal statue of a Pharaoh. The broad, flat head, realistically carved from rose granite, with sunken cheeks and large round, heavily rimmed eyes. The chin, with an incised decorative pattern, flares out, the start of the cobra's characteristic hood evident.

The colossi of Ramesses II at the entrance to Luxor Temple illustrate the probable original positioning of the cobra head on the forehead of the Pharaoh. With the nemes headress, this was the typical regalia worn by Egyptian kings from the Old Kingdom onwards. It was a symbol of sovereignty and divine authority and also believed to have protective qualities.

Length: 12 cm Width: 10.5 cm Height: 7.5 cm

  - Egyptian polychrome wood mask

Egyptian polychrome wood mask

Third Intermediate Period
22nd-24th Dynasty, 945-715 BC

Provenance:
From the Estate of Thomas M. Messer (1920-2013), New York, director of the Guggenheim Museum from 1962 to 1988

Literature:

Description:
The oval face with finely outlined, slightly smiling lips, straight nose, defined philtrum and large slightly recessed almond-shaped eyes. The upper rims, extended brows and cosmetic lines of the eyes carved in shallow relief. Crowned by the remaining central portion of the wig. Evidence of gilding survives on the face and with remains of original pigment on the wig and eyes.
Height: 24.1 cm

  - Egyptian schist rhomboidal palette

Egyptian schist rhomboidal palette

Predynastic Period. Naqada I-II,4200-3250 BC

Provenance:
Joseph Klein Collection, USA acquired between 1941 and 1980 and thence by descent

Literature:

Description:
Large broad example of roughly rhomboidal form with slightly convex profile. The face dished from use. Score marks on the surface particularly of the back from original finishing process.

Bearing old collection number in white 'No.171-4'.

Length: 37.5 cm

  - Egyptian faience frog seal amulet

Egyptian faience frog seal amulet

New Kingdom. 18th Dynasty, Thutmosid period 1504-1391 BC

Provenance:

Literature:
Examples of frog amulets can be seen in Florence Dunn Friedman (Ed.) with Georgina Borromeo, 'Gifts of the Nile, Ancient Egyptian Faience' (London, 1998) pp.116 and 208, figs. 70-71.

Description:
Of very pale green colour, the frog is depicted seated on an integral oval base, hind legs tightly bent, front legs splayed to support the erect upper body. Head held high with protruding eyes of round flattened rim with bulbous pupils, the mouth an incised line. Pierced longitudinally between the front and back legs to allow the amulet to be suspended or attached. Front of base restored.

The base of the amulet incised with a horse and eye hierolgyph within an oval frame. The horse first appears in Egypt during the Hyksos Period, the first foreign rulers in the country whose arrival initiated the Second Intermediate Period. The horse is probably still rare and a royal perogative during the early New Kingdom. It has been suggested that the representation of a horse on a seal amulet is a substitute for the king.

For the Egyptians the frog or toad held the same symbolism as the scarab beetle because it was apparently born from mud as though by spontaneous generation and, in addition, reproduced in huge numbers. Consequently, from the earliest Dynasties, an amulet in its shape offered its owner the hope of regeneration and fertility. Appropriately they were also associated with Heket, the goddess of childbirth.

Length: 2.5 cm