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Egyptian Faience Ushabti For Nefer Shuty Horakhty

Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 30th Dynasty, ca. 380 to 343 BCE. A fine, mold-formed faience ushabti covered in pale-green glaze. Standing in mummiform atop an integral rectangular plinth, the figure holds the symbolic pick and hoe in crossed arms, and a seed bag is draped over its left shoulder. Almond-shaped eyes with extended corners, a wide nose, thin lips, and a plaited false beard comprise the visage, and the head is framed by cupped ears and a tripartite wig. A T-shaped hieroglyphic inscription along the waist and obverse side identify this figure as Nefer-Shuty-Horakhty, a prophet of the ibis-headed god Thoth. A fabulous example from ancient Egypt! Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 1.5" W x 5.6" H (3.8 cm x 14.2 cm); 6.125" H (15.6 cm) on included custom stand.

Shabti (or ushabti) dolls are figures shaped like adult male or female mummies wearing traditional ancient Egyptian headdresses. The ancient Egyptians believed that after they died, their spirits would have to work in the "Field of Reeds" owned by the god of the underworld, Osiris. This meant doing agricultural labor, which was required by all members of society, from workers to pharaohs. The wealthier nobility in Egyptian society were able to have shabtis made of coveted faience, and blue faience was meant to reflect the color of the river Nile both on earth and in the afterlife.

Condition: Loss to portion of nose, minor nicks and abrasions to base, body, and head, with fading to glaze pigmentation, and softening to hieroglyphic text and some finer details, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits throughout.

Provenance: ex-private New York, New York, USA collection, acquired from Arte Primitivo Gallery, New York, New York, USA in October 2006

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