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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Egyptian Marmoreal Limestone Head

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LOT 0033

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 9,560 - 11,960
USD ($) 9,740 - 12,180

Opening Bid
£7,200 (EUR 8,608; USD 8,770) (‡+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

LATE PERIOD, 664-332 B.C.

A very fine marmoreal (nummulitic) limestone head, carved in the round and formed as an 'egg' with shaven scalp and stylised facial features, almond-shaped eyes beneath gently curving brows outlined with thick cosmetic lines, hooked nose, and the ears flat against the head; mounted on a custom-made display stand. 10 3/8 in. (4.72 kg total, 26.3 cm high including stand).

Maurice Nahman collection, circa 1930-1940.
Ex Galerie Samarcande.
Acquired with Hôtel des vtes de Morlaix in 2008.
Property of a French collector.
Accompanied by an archaeological report by Dr Alberto Maria Pollastrini.
Accompanied by an original French passport number 187466 dated 21 July 2017.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11285-190793.

Cf. Josephson, J.A., 'Egyptian Sculpture of the Late Period Revisited' in Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 34 (1997), pp.1-20, fig.9, for similar style of sculpture; see also Klemm, D. and Klemm, R., The Stone of the Pyramids. Provenance of the Building Stones of the Old Kingdom Pyramids of Egypt, Berlin / New York, 2010.

The present idealistic male head with the skull formed like a large egg belongs to a category of sculptures known as 'egg-head'. Emerging in the first Persian domination (525-404 B.C.) the so-called 'egg heads' began to spread during the last native dynasties and early Ptolemaic Period. The stone used here was carefully selected. The statue is made of yellowish nummulitic limestone probably belonging to the Mokattam formation, located in south-east Cairo. Although this type of stone was used extensively in the construction of the Giza pyramids (Klemm, Klemm, 2010, p. 69-73), only a few Egyptian statues have been carved from this material.