Master Sculpture from Four Millennia

Master Sculpture from Four Millennia

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 4. An Egyptian Bronze Figure of the Goddess Neith, 26th Dynasty, 664-525 B.C..

Property from an Important Private Collection

An Egyptian Bronze Figure of the Goddess Neith, 26th Dynasty, 664-525 B.C.

Auction Closed

July 5, 11:37 AM GMT


30,000 - 50,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection

An Egyptian Bronze Figure of the Goddess Neith

26th Dynasty, 664-525 B.C.

striding and formerly holding a papyrus scepter in her extended left hand, a fragmentary ankh in her right hand, the feet restored, and wearing a long close-fitting dress, carefully engraved bracelets and armlets, broad beaded collar, and the Crown of Lower Egypt decorated with vertical striations and with restored spiral and spire, her finely modeled face with broad upturned nose and electrum-overlaid eyes and eyebrows.

Height 33 cm.

Albert Roothbert, New York and Ridgefield, Connecticut (Topstone Fund, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, February 25th, 1971, no. 70, illus.)
Allan Caplan Trust, New York (Sotheby’s, New York, June 5th, 1999, no. 31, illus.)
acquired by the present owner at the above sale


Neith, a primeval war goddess, was worshipped in Sais and in the western (Libyan) part of the Delta. The Greeks identified her with Athena. Later she was fused with Isis and worshipped as the "divine mother" of Horus. For other striding bronze figures of Neith, all smaller in scale than this example, see George Steindorff, Catalogue of the Egyptian Sculpture in the Walters Art Gallery, 1946, pls. LXXXVI-LXXXVII, nos. 540-547.

Albert Roothbert (1874-1965) was born in Frankfurt and emigrated to the United States in 1905, where he had a successful career as an investment banker. In 1925, at the age of 50, he retired to pursue " active interest in art and archaeology. With the Mexican painter Miguel Covarrubias he studied the art of Bali. His interest in Akhneton, an ancient Egyptian ruler who declared monotheism, led him to sponsor an expedition under Prof. Hermann Junker of the University of Vienna" (The New York Times obituary section, October 24th, 1965, p. 87). Paintings and sculpture collected by Roothbert (and his foundation called Topstone Fund, (after the farm of his beloved home in Connecticut on Topstone road) have made their way into major collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 1937, Roothbert married Toni von Horn, a prominent fashion and portrait photographer whose subjects included Greta Garbo, Cole Porter, Eleanor Roosevelt and Albert Einstein. The Roothberts shared a foundational belief that the idealism of youth was the best defense against a recurrence of tragedies of the first half of the 20th century. They created the Roothbert Foundation, a scholarship fund still in existence today, with the purpose of servicing a young generation which would in turn create "a new, more enlightened society, which will want to live democratic principles, not merely claim them." (