Lot 57
  • 57

A Diorite or Basalt Figure of a Man, 26th Dynasty/early Ptolemaic Period, 664-300 B.C.

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  • A Diorite or Basalt Figure of a Man
wearing a double headdress composed of striated ribbed wavy strands radiating from the crown, echeloned tapering curls in front, his face with outlined lips indented at the corners and eyebrows in relief, the right earlobe indented, three columns of inscription on each side of the tapering support, two columns of inscription on the back pillar.


a private collection (Christie's, London, April 27th, 1976, no. 135, illus.)
Galerie Khnoum, Geneva, 1992
Drouot-Richelieu, Paris, October 1st, 1996, no. 462, illus.
Safani Gallery, New York


Jaromir Malek, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings, vol. VIII, part 2, Oxford, 1999, p. 874, no. 801-763-580
Olivier Perdu, forthcoming publication

Catalogue Note

The inscription on the back pillar introduces the owner through several epithets praising his many qualities. The inscriptions on either side of the support contain requests made by the owner to Mut, the local goddess. The name of the owner is not extant.

During the Late Period the double wig, which ultimately harks back to the New Kingdom, seems to appear exclusively in the early 26th Dynasty: see Bothmer,  Egyptian Sculpture of the Late Period, figs. 23 (Ankh-em-tenenet), 30 (Mentuemhat), and 47 (bust of a scribe), and J.A. Josephson and M.M. Eldamaty, Catalogue general of Egyptian Antiquities in the Cairo Museum. Nrs. 48601-48649. Statues of the XXVth and XXVIth Dynasties, Cairo, 1999, pls. 9 (Nesptah, son of Mentuemhat, CG 48609), and 13 ( Nespamadou, CG48613).

According to Olivier Perdu, the three columns of inscriptions on the left side of the support of  the present sculpture join with those of a sistrum fragment in the Cairo Museum, inv. no. CG 1009 (L. Borchart, Statuen und Statuetten, IV, 1934, p. 23), from the temple of Mut at Karnak: in its complete state, therefore, the sculpture would have appeared as a kneeling sistrophorous statue. The inscriptions on the fragmentary sistrum contain the name of the owner, Ser-djehuty, and his titles of Divine Father and Prophet, as well as Hepet-wedjat Priest ("Servant of Mut"). 

Ser-djehuty is known from at least three other monuments: a kneeling naophorous statue in Cairo (CG 1020), a fragment in Cambridge (UMAE 51.553), and a block statue in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5141.48.372). These three monuments are all dated to the early Ptolemaic period (B. Bothmer, Revue d'Egyptologie, 52, 2001, p. 188, n. 40, H. De Meulenaere, Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, vol. 60, 1960, p. 129, 5, and Orientalia Gandensia, vol. 3, 1966, p. 110, n. kk). Olivier Perdu suggests a similar date for the present sculpture.