Lot 5
  • 5

An Egyptian Limestone Block Statue of the Transport Official Karo, 20th Dynasty, Reign of Ramesses III, 1187 - 1156 B.C.

250,000 - 350,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • An Egyptian Limestone Block Statue of the Transport Official Karo
  • Limestone
  • Height 20 in. 50.8 cm.
seated on a high rectangular base with his arms crossed over his knees, his hands emerging from his cloak and holding lettuce leaves, and wearing bracelets with chevron decoration, short beard, and double wig composed of striated ribbed strands radiating from the crown and bound in numerous small tassels at the shoulders, echeloned rectangular curls in front, his upturned face with large wide-set eyes with prominent upper lids, the front of his cloak carved in sunk relief with Osiris holding the crook and flail and wearing the crown of Upper Egypt, the uraei emerging from his pedestal wearing the crowns of the goddesses Nephthys and Isis respectively, four columns of inscription on the left side of his cloak, a column of inscription on the back pillar, the prenomen and nomen of Ramesses III carved within cartouches on the shoulders.


the Armenian Monastery of the Mechitharisten, Vienna, received as a gift, most likely in the 19th Century (Sotheby's, New York, December 17th, 1998, no. 29, illus.)


Minerva, vol. 10 [2], March-April 1999, p. 40, fig. 12
Jaromir Malek, Diana Magee, and Elizabeth Miles, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings, vol. VIII, part 2, Oxford, 1999, p. 622, no. 801-643-665

Catalogue Note

The inscription on the back pillar translates: "A royal offering of Osiris, giving air to my nose, that my ba may live, for the ka of Karo the transport official."

The inscriptions on the cloak translate: "A royal offering of Osiris, giving good life and effective burial, my mouth being sound, that I may come to my place and have no end forever, for the ka of the transport official Karo."

The Armenian Catholic Mechitharist order was founded in Constantinople in 1701 by Mekhitar of Sebaste. After the Mechitharists established themselves in Vienna in 1810 they started assembling in a museum adjacent to their library objects given them by other members of the order or by Armenian benefactors across the world (M.K. Arat, Die Wiener Mechitharisten: armenische Mönche in der Diaspora, Vienna, 1990, p. 146). Among the ancient objects included in the collection was an Assyrian gypsum relief fragment from the Palace of Assurnasirpal II at Nimrud, brought back from Mesopotamia to Vienna by Father Clemens Mekerditsh Sibilian (1824-1878) and sold at Sotheby's, New York, in 1998 in the same sale as the present lot.