Lot 21
  • 21

An Egyptian Pale Blue Faience Ushabti of Neferibresaneith, 26th Dynasty, reign of Amasis, 570-526 B.C.

60,000 - 90,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • An Egyptian Pale Blue Faience Ushabti of Neferibresaneith
  • stone
  • Height 7 1/4 in. 18.4 cm.
wab priest of the king, Royal Chancellor of Lower Egypt, Administrator of the Palace, and son of Shepen-Bastet, holding the hoe, pick, and seed-sack over his left shoulder, and wearing a braided beard with curled tip and striated tripartite wig, his finely modeled face with full lips indented at the corners, straight nose, and long contoured eyebrows and cosmetic lines, the nine lines of inscription beginning and ending at the back pillar.


Felix J. May Collection, Zurich, Switzerland, acquired between 1978 and 1981


Hermann A. Schlögl and Andreas Brodbeck, Ägyptische Totenfiguren aus öffentlichen und privaten Sammlungen der Schweiz, Freiburg and Göttingen, 1990, p. 245, no. 171b, illus.

Catalogue Note

According to J.-F. and L. Aubert (Statuettes Égyptiennes: Chaouabtis, Ouchebtis, Paris, 1974, p. 230), "The ushabtis of Neferibresaneith are among the most beautiful ones of the Late Period, comparable in quality to those of Psamtik-Meryptah." They were cast using four matrices then were finished by hand (see B. Peterson, "Gesicht und Kunststil," Medelhavmuseet, Bulletin 12, 1977, pp. 22ff.). The present example is cast from the finest matrix (b) and ranks as one of the best preserved and most finely modelled examples of its kind.

The Tomb of Neferibresaneith was found in 1929 at Saqqara, south of the funerary complex of King Userkaf. In all, 366 ushabtis were found, most of them resting on the lid of the stone sarcophagus under the carbonized wood box (see E. Drioton and J.P. Lauer, "Les tombes jumelées de Neferibrê-Sa-Neith et Ouahibrê-Men," Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte, vol 51, 1951, pp. 469-490; Porter and Moss, Topographical Bibliography, vol. III.2, p. 587). Aubert (op. cit., p. 230) notes that a large number of these figurines were officially dispersed and sold by the Service des Antiquités and found their way into public and private collections.

For other examples from different matrices than the present example see André B. Wiese, Égypte, moments d'éternité, Mainz, 1997, no. 160, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, April 24th-25th, 1970, no. 110, cover illus., Sotheby's, New York, June 13th, 2002, no. 29, December 6th, 2006, no. 76, and December 5th, 2007, no. 29.