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Home > Auctions > 2nd June 2020 > Large Egyptian Resting Sacred Ibis

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LOT 0007

GBP (£) 25,000 - 35,000
EUR (€) 28,080 - 39,310
USD ($) 31,500 - 44,100

£22,500 (EUR 25,272; USD 28,348) (+bp*)

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Large Egyptian Resting Sacred Ibis

Late Period, 664-332 BC

A large figurine of a sacred ibis with lidded hollow wooden body, carved integral folded wings to the sides, hollowed and secured with dowels; bronze fittings comprising a head and neck with long curved beak, socket eyes to accept inserts, two legs with texture detailing, three splayed claws, a tail with herringbone feather texturing; mounted on a wooden stand. 3.8 kg total, 33cm high including stand (13"). Fine condition. A large display piece, extremely rare in this size.

Condition report [Click to show]

From the collection of a respected UK gentleman; formerly in a private Swiss collection, between 2000-2011; on the US art market prior to the early 1990s; accompanied by a copy of a positive metallurgic analytical report written by Metallurgist Dr. Peter Northover (ex Department of Materials, Materials Science-Based Archaeology Group & Department of Materials, University of Oxford), number R4297; a copy of a positive RCD Radio Carbon Dating Measurement Report conducted on the wood, dated 28 July 2014; an academic report written by Egyptologist Peter Clayton; and an Art Loss Register certificate no.S00072971; this lot has also been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by IADAA certificate number no.27032020/1043.
The model is formed with a hollow wooden body which is held closed by wooden dowels and the bronze tail-plate. Inside the void was placed the mummified remains of an ibis, sacred to the god Thoth whose symbols were this bird and the baboon. Ibis mummies were used as offerings to the god in his sanctuaries at Saqqara and Tuna El Gebel, both in Egypt; the latter is the presumed findspot for the present piece.