An Egyptian Polychrome Limestone Figure of Hem-Min, 6th Dynasty, 2360-2195 B.C.
100,000 - 150,000 GBP
An Egyptian Polychrome Limestone Figure of Hem-Min
6th Dynasty, 2360-2195 B.C.
inscribed "Treasurer of the God, Overseer of the Army, Overseer of the Prospectors, revered with the God," seated on a high-backed chair inscribed on both sides with his names and titles, his hands resting on his knees, and wearing a short pleated kilt and wig of layered trapezoidal curls, his face with prominent chin, outlined lips, and slightly aquiline nose; remains of red pigment on the body and black pigment on the wig.
Height 48.3 cm.
Condition consistent with material and size.
Appears to be repaired from several large fragments across base, feet, legs, and probably wrists, with areas of fill and overpaint along all joins.
Upper part of figure seems to be in one piece, judging from stone surface and some original pigment clearly visible on abdomen, chest, and upper arms.
Parts of shoulders covered in paint and therefore probably restored in part (proper right more than proper left).
Areas of modern paint are most visible along base (except in back and around proper right corner), across legs, along proper left side of kilt below arms, on hands and top of kilt, and along both edges and corners of seat's back, most of which likely to be obscuring areas of repair and restoration.
Based on chips and abrasions visible on top and proper right side of wig, restorations can be expected to facial features and edges of wig in front. Head could have been repaired.
Remains of red pigment in hieroglyphics, mostly on proper right side.
Because the restorations were probably made in plaster, which is close in density to limestone, the temperature test is not useful. Neither is UV light, as it reveals only what is visible under naked eye. We would recommend that any interested party show the figure to a professional conservator. Ultimately, in our opinion, only close examination by a professional conservator, probably including a full CT-scan, would help reveal the full extent of the repairs and restorations.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Todros Collection, Luxor, 1959
Alfons Billen, Brussels
Sotheby's, London, December 10th-11th, 1984, no. 180, illus.
Sotheby's, New York, The Charles Pankow Collection of Art, December 8th, 2004, no. 9, illus.
Henry George Fischer, "Varia Aegyptiaca," Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt , vol. II, 1963, p. 18 and n. 11
Henry George Fischer, "More about the Smntjw ," Göttinger Miszellen, vol. 84, 1985, pp.25-28, fig. 1 (line drawing of inscriptions)
Henry George Fischer, [addendum and corrigendum to previous article] Göttinger Miszellen, vol. 86, 1985, p. 95
Jaromir Malek, Diana Magee, and Elizabeth Miles, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings VIII. Objects of Provenance not known, Oxford, 1999, no. 801-221-750
This depiction of Hem-Min, a bureaucratic official during Egypt's 6th Dynasty, likely functioned as a ka-statue. Ka-statues were physical representations of the body that functioned as a home for the soul of the deceased in the afterlife. For a larger related example in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, see https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/90718.