RELEASE: Egyptian Head With Features of King Tutankhamen To Be Offered at Christie's In July
AN EGYPTIAN BROWN QUARTZITE HEAD OF THE GOD AMEN WITH THE FEATURES OF THE PHARAOH TUTANKHAMEN NEW KINGDOM, 18TH DYNASTY, REIGN OF TUTANKHAMEN, CIRCA 1333-1323 B.C., H: 28.5 cm.
Estimate on request
London – An Egyptian brown quartzite head of Tutankhamen as the God Amen, its features reminiscent of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen, a device used to align the ruling King with deities, will lead The Exceptional Sale in London on 4th July. The head which has been well published and exhibited in the last 30 years, is expected to realise over £4million.
This head was part of a statue of the God Amen, the most important deity of the New Kingdom. The distinctive crown, which would have been surmounted by tall double feathers, is part of the god’s iconography. Over 3000 years old, this exceptional representation of the King (28.5 cm. high) is sold from the Resandro Collection, one of the world’s most renowned private collections of Egyptian art, part of which was sold in 2016 by Christie’s for over £3million.
The facial features – the full mouth with slightly drooping lower lips, and almond-shaped, slanted eyes, with a deep depression between the eyes and eyebrows – are those of Tutankhamen. Similar representations of the God Amen also with facial features of the young king, were carved for the temple of Karnak in Upper Egypt, as part of the royal restoration program.
The young pharaoh comes to life thanks to the particularly naturalistic depiction of the face inherited from the Amarna Period, which appeared during the reign of his father Akhenaton. This piece exudes strength and serenity, a testament to the craftmanship of Amarna sculptors.
Tutankhamen was 9 years old when he became Pharaoh, and reigned between 1333 and 1323 B.C., one of the last kings of the 18th Dynasty. This period is considered the golden age of ancient Egypt, not only in terms of regional and cultural influence, but also because of the incomparable beauty and quality of the art produced then. Tutankhamen is the most famous Egyptian Pharaoh in history thanks to the phenomenal discovery of his intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon.
The present lot was acquired from Heinz Herzer, a Munich-based dealer in 1985. Prior to this, Joseph Messina, an Austrian dealer, acquired it in 1973-74 from Prinz Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis who reputedly had it in his collection by the 1960s.
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.