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Home > Auctions > 24th May 2022 > Egyptian Bronze Figure of Montu

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LOT 0032

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 17,490 - 23,330
USD ($) 18,740 - 24,980

£15,000 (EUR 17,495; USD 18,737) (+bp*)

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A striding bronze figure of the war god Montu with falcon head, wearing a shendyt kilt and a tripartite striated wig, surmounted by two ostrich plumes and fronted by a sun disk and double uraei, wearing a collar and holding a staff with a falcon-headed terminal emerging from a papyrus umbrel; standing on an integral rectangular plinth with a single line of inscription that probably ran around all sides, of which a few hieroglyphs remain, the front reading: '..? Lord (of)' and the left side reading 'Thebes, (that) he may give life..', the last hieroglyph on the front side and the first three on the left give the familiar epithet of Montu, 'Lord of Thebes' which is followed by the request from the statue’s dedicator for
Montu to bestow life (and perhaps other benefits) upon him/her; accompanied by a custom-made tiered display base. 9 in. (10 in.) (553 grams, 22.7 cm high (639 grams total, 25.5 cm high including stand)). Fine condition, professionally cleaned.

Japanese collection, prior to 1980.
AAL Geneva, Switzerland, 1980.
British collection since 1999.
With Pierre Bergé & Associés, Paris, 2 February 2017, lot 78.
Accompanied by an academic report by Egyptologist Paul Whelan.
Accompanied by a copy of the relevant Pierre Bergé & Associés catalogue pages (20,000-22,00 euros).
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11175-188107.

Cf. The British Museum, museum number EA60339, for a similar figure believed to possibly date to the Late Period; Musée du Louvre, AF 588.

The statuette was most likely an offering made at one of Montu’s cult centres in the Theban region to ensure for the dedicator the good favour of the god. Commensurate with his warlike nature, Montu can sometimes be depicted holding a khepesh sickle-bladed sword, yet here he holds a rarer attribute: a carefully detailed staff with a falcon-headed terminal emerging from a papyrus umbel. This almost certainly
symbolises Montu’s association with Re – the Heliopolitan sun-god also depicted with a falcon head - as his Upper Egyptian counterpart.