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    Sale 2056

    ANTIQUITIES

    9 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 29

    AN EGYPTIAN BRONZE MAAT

    LATE PERIOD, DYNASTY XXVI, 664-525 B.C.

    Price Realised  

    AN EGYPTIAN BRONZE MAAT
    LATE PERIOD, DYNASTY XXVI, 664-525 B.C.
    The goddess striding forward with her left leg advanced on an integral plinth, her arms at her sides, the palms facing in, wearing a tightly-fitted ankle-length sheath that accentuates the form of her body beneath, bejewelled in incised bracelets, armlets and a broad-collar, her striated tripartite wig overlaid with a vulture headdress, fronted by a uraeus, and surmounted by her attribute, an ostrich feather, with conjoined suspension rings at the back of the head
    9¾ in. (24.7 cm.) high


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    The canonical pose for Maat is squatting with her hands on her knees, while striding versions are much less common. For a squatting Maat similarly adorned with her ostrich feather attribute see no. 69 in Capel and Markoe, eds., Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven, Women in Ancient Egypt. According to Markoe (in Capel and Markoe, op. cit., p. 140-141), "Maat occupied a relatively unique position among the many female deities in the Egyptian pantheon. Unlike other Egyptian divinities, her character was not so much that of a goddess but of an abstract entity. Maat was the moderator of all things in the universe, the source of equilibrium in the natural realm. She represented the deified concept of world order, balance, and harmony. Her powers extended beyond the realm of the purely cosmic; she regulated not only the seasons and the movement of the stars but relations between the gods and men. Consequently, she served as the embodiment of truth, justice, and moral integrity. As mortal representative and spokesman of the gods, it was, in fact, the king who had the responsibility to maintain Maat and preserve Egypt's social order."

    Provenance

    European Private Collection, acquired prior to the 1950s.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION