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Home > Auctions > 24th May 2022 > Egyptian Limestone Relief of a Child God Wearing the Double Crown

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LOT 0010

GBP (£) 30,000 - 40,000
EUR (€) 34,990 - 46,650
USD ($) 37,470 - 49,970

£27,000 (EUR 31,491; USD 33,726) (+bp*)

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ROMAN PERIOD, 30 B.C.-395 A.D.

A painted limestone relief fragment carved in high-relief with the figure of a naked child god striding to right, wearing the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Sidelock of Youth and an apotropaic beaded necklace, holding a sistrum in his right hand and a menat necklace in his left; the upper vertical inscription partial, the remaining signs can be interpreted as 'Ḥt-Ḥr', the name of goddess Hathor and the word 'ḥwn' for child; the lower inscription should read 'Shaking the sistrum for his mother, the Powerful. Her heart is satisfied by the prayer(?)', the inscription generally related to temple reliefs involving the child gods Ihy and Harsomtus; mounted on a custom-made display stand. 36 1/4 in. (38 1/4 in.) (40.8 kg total, 92 cm high (97 cm including stand)). Fine condition, repaired with small areas of restoration.

Previously with Mr Wladimir Rosenbaum (1894-1984) of Galleria Casa Serodine, Ascona, Switzerland, definitely prior to 1973 (and by repute since the 1960s).
In the private collection of Heidi Ganter (b.15.07.26), Zurich, Switzerland, acquired from the above prior to 12th November 1973.
Sold at Schuler Auktion, Zurich, Switzerland, Auction A-40, Lot 1200.
London art market, acquired from the above sale.
Accompanied by a copy of a letter from Rosenbaum to Ganter relating to this relief dated 12th November 1973.
Accompanied by a scholarly reports by Egyptologists Dr Alberto Maria Pollastrini and Peter Clayton.
Accompanied by scholarly note TL05417 by Dr Ronald Bonewitz.
Accompanied by a copy of an Art Loss Register certificate number S00154348, dated 28 November 2019.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11171-187275.

See Chassinat, É. and Daumas, F., Le Temple de Dendara, Tome VII, IFAO, Cairo, 1972; Corteggiani, J.-P., L'Égypte ancienne et ses dieux, Fayard, Paris, 2007; Leitz, C., Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen. Band I: З-y, OLA 110, Peeters, Leuven, 2002; Leitz, C., Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen. Band V: ḥ-ḫ, OLA 114, Peeters, Leuven, 2002; Reynders, M., Sšš.t and sḥm: Names and Types of the Egyptian Sistrum, in Clarysse, W., Schoors, A., Willelms, H. (eds.), Egyptian Religion. The Last Thousand Years. Part II, OLA 85, Peeters, Leuven, 1998, pp.1013-1026; Wilson, P., A Ptolemaic Lexicon, OLA 78, Peeters, Leuven, 1997.

The latter formula is generally related to temple reliefs involving the child gods Ihy ('The Musician', Wilson, 1997, p.103; Leitz, 2002a; Corteggiani, 2007, p.229-230) and Ḥr-smȜ-tȜwy / Harsomtus ('Horus who ties together the Two Lands', Leitz, 2002b, p.287-289; Corteggiani, 2007, p.178-179). According to the theological structures, developed starting from the Third Intermediate Period, both the deities were born from Hathor and were often represented as children performing musical rituals in the presence of their mother (see e.g. Chassinat, D., 1972, pl. DCXVII). Furthermore, the child god depicted on the relief holds a specific type of musical instrument, the so-called naos-sistrum, which was closely connected to the cult of Hathor. The upper part of this sistrum consists of the head of Hathor en-face with the ears of a cow. The head is surmounted by a representation of the bḫn, the entrance gate between the two pylons of Egyptian temples. (Reynders, 1998, p.1024).
The relief under consideration is part of a larger scene that probably decorated a religious building dating to the Graeco-Roman Period.