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Home > Auctions > 23rd May 2023 > Large Egyptian Bronze Statue of Khonsu

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LOT 0014

GBP (£) 30,000 - 40,000
EUR (€) 34,560 - 46,080
USD ($) 37,150 - 49,540

Sold for (Inc. bp): £33,800


10 3/4 in. (896 grams total, 27 cm including stand).

Standing in advancing pose on a rectangular base; the god modelled with a disk representing the full-moon surmounting a crescent new moon atop his head and fronted by a uraeus, the falcon-head sports a finely striated tripartite wig and with beaded silver wire frames to the (once inlaid) eyes; wearing a broad wesekh collar; the left arm bent and fist drilled to grip a staff, right arm straight to the side with similar drilled fist; pleated shendyt kilt and belt to the hips; mounted on a tiered socle base.

Smith family collection, Cambridge, UK since 1949.
Private UK collection since 1978.

Accompanied by a scholarly note by Egyptologist Paul Whelan.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.11033-183985.

Cf. for a near identical example from Memphis and now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, inventory no. 54.395.

The moon god Khonsu (whose name means 'wanderer', referring to the passage of the moon across the sky) is known as a blood-thirsty sky-deity in the Pyramid Texts. In New Kingdom Thebes, however, he was regarded as a far more benevolent deity, being the child of Amun and Mut, and provided with his own temple at Karnak. There, he was considered to control destiny. Khonsu can appear in human form with a side-lock of youth, wearing an enveloping garment, and holding royal regalia, and also as a falcon-headed man with the full moon and crescent new moon headdress, as with this fine example. In his falcon-headed form he frequently holds an ankh symbol and a was-sceptre, for which the hands of this piece were drilled to accept the god's well-known attributes.