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Home > Auctions > 1st September 2020 > Egyptian Alabaster Overseer Shabti

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LOT 0008

GBP (£) 20,000 - 30,000
EUR (€) 22,150 - 33,220
USD ($) 26,120 - 39,180

Opening Bid
£20,000 (EUR 22,146; USD 26,117) (+bp*)

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Egyptian Alabaster Overseer Shabti

New Kingdom, late 18th-early 19th Dynasty, 1400-1200 BC

A carved alabaster shabti; surviving black and red pigmentation indicates that this is a shabti of a male overseer (reis) in civil dress, forearms crossed on midriff, crook and flail in hands; wearing a duplex wig and ornamental collar, belt, and a long layered kilt with pleated drapery and painted hieroglyphic text tentatively identified as 'sHD wsir / wrwy / Dd.f' (on the instructions of Osiris / Werwy (personal name) / says); remains of feet visible beneath kilt; also highlighted in black pigment are facial details and folds in his skirts; the overseer's belt, wig and shirt pleats are continued in black pigment on the reverse of the figure; mounted on a custom-made stand. 3.3 kg total, 37cm including stand (14 1/2"). Fine condition.

Property of a central London gentleman; acquired from a private European collection, in 1978; previously with Maspero collection, Paris, in 1963; formerly in the Carieau family collection, Belgium, acquired in 1952; accompanied by scholarly notes on the inscription by Edmund S. Meltzer and a scholarly note TL5287 by Dr Ronald Bonewitz.
See Schneider, H. D., Shabtis, Leiden, 1977, p.237, no.; the less detailed pair to this shabti previously sold by Bonhams, New Bond Street, London, 30 November 2016, lot 175 [sold for £35,000 hammer]; accompanied by copies of the relevant catalogue pages.
Examples of overseer shabti holding a Djed-pillar or Tye-knot are known. However, it is highly unusual for the crook and flail to be held by a shabti which does not belong to a king.