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    Sale 2056

    ANTIQUITIES

    9 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 15

    AN EGYPTIAN PAINTED ALABASTER AMPHORA

    NEW KINGDOM, DYNASTY XIX, REIGN OF RAMESSES II OR MERNEPTAH, 1290-1214 B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    AN EGYPTIAN PAINTED ALABASTER AMPHORA
    NEW KINGDOM, DYNASTY XIX, REIGN OF RAMESSES II OR MERNEPTAH, 1290-1214 B.C.
    With an ovoid body, a tall cylindrical neck and rounded rim, the strap handles with ibex head terminals, the ears separately made of wood and inserted (one preserved), with elaborate painted decoration in encaustic, including a two-tiered necklace of petals on the neck, the ties with lotus-blossom finials suspended on the reverse, below the necklace a partially preserved horizontal line of hieratic text reading, "Wreath/garland(?) and bread of the gods, ...," the body with a wah-collar or floral necklace enclosing a descending lotus blossom framed by two buds, the ties also with lotus blossom finials on the reverse, and the details of the ibex head terminals, each wearing a floral collar
    16¼ in. (41.2 cm.) high


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    For a similar example see no. 74A in Lacovara, et al., The Collector's Eye: Masterpieces of Egyptian Art from The Thalassic Collection, Ltd. According to Lacovara (op. cit., p. 124-125), a number of similar vessels were excavated in the Valley of the Kings and are associated with the funeral of Ramesses' son and successor Merneptah. "The material used in preparing the mummy, although unclean, was still connected to the sacred rites of the dead, and was gathered up and placed in jars buried in a pit near the tomb. These collections, known as embalmer's caches, have been found in a number of cemetery sites in Egypt, but the most elaborate ones are known from the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. The excavation of a cache from the burial of Tutankhamen eventually led to the discovery of his tomb. In the Ramesside Period, the pottery vessels found in earlier embalmer's caches appear to have been replaced by more elaborate alabaster ones. A group of similar vases, including one inscribed for Ramesses II from Ard el-Naam Mataria, still retained the original contents, which included: linen, sand, natron, resin and organic debris associated with mummification."

    Provenance

    European Private Collection, acquired prior to the 1950s.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION