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Home > Auctions > 5th December 2023 > Egyptian Limestone Miniature Obelisk with Hieroglyphs

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LOT 0004

GBP (£) 1,500 - 2,000
EUR (€) 1,730 - 2,310
USD ($) 1,900 - 2,540

Current bid: £1,100 (+bp*)
(1 Bid, Reserve met)

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(1 Bid, Reserve met)   |   Current bid: £1,100
LATE PERIOD, 664-332 B.C.
8 1/4 in. (444 grams total, 21 cm high).

With tapering sides and pointed top, incised vertical column of hieroglyphic text to one face: ẖry-ḥbt ḳbḥ ḥtp mr-mšꜥ imn, ''lector-priest' (give) purified offering (to the) general of the army (of) Amun'; mounted on a custom-made stand.

Acquired in Egypt in the early 20th century.
Private collection of Mr T.H., Norfolk, UK.

Cf. similar in the collection of the British Museum under accession no.EA495.

In ancient Egypt, it was common for small obelisks like this one to be placed on either side of the entrance to private tombs. Typically inscribed on one side only, these obelisks held great solar religious significance and were closely associated with the cult of the sun-god Re. They symbolised the ancient Egyptians' belief in the rebirth of the deceased, with the moment of revivification being characterised by the individual's face being illuminated by the rays of the rising sun. It was said that, at that moment, the deceased was able to "open their sight to see the sun-god," as one religious text explains.