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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Egyptian Bronze Head of a God or King with Inlaid Eyes

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LOT 0025

GBP (£) 50,000 - 70,000
EUR (€) 58,800 - 82,320
USD ($) 66,600 - 93,240

Sold for (Inc. bp): £50,800

Egyptian Bronze Head of a God or King with Inlaid Eyes

21st-22nd Dynasty, 1000-900 BC

A hollow cast bronze head of a pharaoh wearing a tripartite wig and a long braided chin-beard; eyebrows, makeup lines around the eyes and chin strap for the false beard inlaid in gold; the eyes inlaid with obsidian, remains of original clay casting core visible; mounted on a custom-made display stand and held in a custom-made display case. 1.18 kg total, 21cm including stand (8 1/4"). Fine condition.

From the collection of a Kensington gentleman; acquired from Mansour Gallery, London W1, UK, in 2013; acquired from Rennes Enchères - Hôtel des Ventes, France, 11 March 2003, lot 117 (front cover) for 150,000.00 euros; previously in the French family collection of Monsieur and Madam M since the early 1960s, thence by descent; accompanied by an academic report by Dr Alberto Maria Pollastrini; also accompanied by copies of the French Passport no.058205 dated 15 April 2003, Rennes Enchères invoice, Rennes Enchères cataloguing in French and with an English translation, Mansour Gallery invoice, previously, typed and illustrated collection cataloguing pages, and the 2003 auction catalogue showing the piece on the front cover; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10936-181155.

Cf. Roeder, G., Egyptischem Bronzefiguren, 1956, p.471 & 637, pl.63-64; and J.F. et L, Aubert Bronzes et Egyptiens, 2001, p.353-355; Hill, M., 'A Bronze Aegis of King Amasis in the Egyptian Museum: Bronzes, Unconventionality and Unexpected Connections' in Eldamaty, M. and Trad, M. (eds.), Egyptian Museum Collections Around the World, Vol.2, Cairo, 2002; Hill, M., Gift for the Gods. Images from Egyptian Temples, New Heaven and London, 2007; Ivanov, S., 'A Bronze Aegis of King Amasis in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo' in Maravelia, A.-A. (ed.) En Quête de la Lumière / In Quest of Light. Mélanges in Honorem Ashraf A. Sadek (BAR International Series 1960), Oxford, 2009A; Ivanov, S., 'The Aegis in Ancient Egyptian Art: Aspects of Interpretation', in Hawass, Z. (ed.), Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century. Proceeding of the Eighth International Congress of Egyptologists, 2000. Vol.2, Cairo, New York, 2009B; Roeder, G., Ägyptische Bronzefiguren, Berlin, 1956; Aubert, J.F, and Aubert, L., Bronzes et Or Egyptiens, Paris, 2001, pp.353-355; Dunham, D., 'An Egyptian Bronze Aegis', 1932, BMFA Vol.29, no.176, pp.104-109.

This mask was part of an aegis, a cult implement representing the head of a deity wearing a broad usekh-collar. Aegides appeared at the beginning of the 18th Dynasty and became popular in the Third Intermediate and Late Periods (IVANOV 2003B, pp.332-333); their real use is still under debate: in general, aegides were used to decorate the prow and the stern of sacred barques but sometimes they are described by scholars as terminals for standards or for carrying poles of a piece of processional equipment. Although aegides are generally surmounted with divine heads (further examples in Roeder, 1956, pp.465-472, pl.63-65), royal images are not unknown (e.g. aegis of King Amasis, Hill, 2002, pp.545-556; Hill, 2007, pp.137-138; Ivanov, 2009A, pp.25-32).