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AN EGYPTIAN WOOD AND BRONZE IBIS
AN EGYPTIAN WOOD AND BRONZE IBIS

LATE PERIOD TO PTOLEMAIC PERIOD, 664-30 B.C.

Details
AN EGYPTIAN WOOD AND BRONZE IBIS
LATE PERIOD TO PTOLEMAIC PERIOD, 664-30 B.C.
Depicted seated, the body sculpted in wood, covered in gesso and painted yellow in imitation of gold, the legs, the head and the tail feathers each separately cast of bronze and inserted, the legs folded under, with a sinuous neck and long bill, the eyes inlaid, wearing a hemhem crown, the closed wings articulated
16 in. (40.6 cm.) long
Provenance
American Private Collection, 1979.

Lot Essay

The ibis was considered a manifestation of Thoth, who was god of the moon, writing, wisdom and all intellectual activity. In the Late Period and Ptolemaic Period ibises were captured and bred in captivity throughout Egypt to be slaughtered, mummified, then sold as votive offerings to Thoth. The mummies were usually interred in simple vessels, but some were given ibis-form coffins. For a similar example see no. 87, p. 140 in Fazzini, et al., Art for Eternity, Masterworks from Ancient Egypt, Brooklyn Museum of Art.

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