AN EGYPTIAN BRIGHT BLUE FAIENCE SHABTI FOR SETY I
AN EGYPTIAN BRIGHT BLUE FAIENCE SHABTI FOR SETY I
AN EGYPTIAN BRIGHT BLUE FAIENCE SHABTI FOR SETY I
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AN EGYPTIAN BRIGHT BLUE FAIENCE SHABTI FOR SETY I
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PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
AN EGYPTIAN BRIGHT BLUE FAIENCE VOTIVE CUP FOR NESKHONS

THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD, 21ST DYNASTY, CIRCA 974 B.C.

Details
AN EGYPTIAN BRIGHT BLUE FAIENCE VOTIVE CUP FOR NESKHONS
THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD, 21ST DYNASTY, CIRCA 974 B.C.
2 ½ in. (6.4 cm.) high
Provenance
Gaston Maspero (1846-1916), France.
Collection G., 1972.
with Gordian Weber Kunsthandel, Cologne, Antiken 11, 2007, no. 12.
Literature
R. A. Lusingh Scheurleer, Egypt. Eender end Anders, Amsterdam, 1984, p. 72, no. 132.

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Lot Essay

Neskhons was a daughter of Smendes II and niece of Pinudjem II, both of whom were successive High Priests of Amen at Thebes, who ruled the huge southern territories of Egypt, including the Sudan, during the Twenty-First Dynasty. Pinudjem had first married his sister Istemkhebi, and then his niece Neskhons, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. Although not literally royal, Neskhons was of the highest rank. Her own titles included "supreme chief of the harem ladies," which means that she led choristers and musicians in temple services. She was also overseer of religious life in the southern countries and (female) viceroy of Kush (Nubia).
Neskhons' death on 9 April 974 B.C. has been established from a docket found in her tomb. The docket states: "Year five [of the Pharaoh Siamun], fourth month of the summer season [shemu], day 21, day of the burial of the Chief of the Ladies, Nesikhons, by the divine father of Amun, the overseer of the treasury, Djedkhonsefankh" (see B. Schlick-Nolte and R. Werthmann, "Ancient Glass Vessels from the Burial of Neskhons," Journal of Glass Studies, vol. 45, 2003, pp. 11-34)
She died before Pinudjem and was buried in the great tomb complexes of the Theban necropolis. The tombs were discovered by Maspero in 1881, and in 1886 he partially unwrapped her mummy. When the task was completed some twenty years later by G. E. Smith in 1906, her extended stomach and enlarged breasts suggested that she had either died in childbirth or whilst pregnant. Her mummy had luxurious long hair tied in two sections and her pierced ears had stretched lobes, suggesting that she has had frequently worn very heavy earrings.
As well as 401 faience shabtis and a set of glass beakers, her funerary furnishings also included about 70 bright blue faience cups bearing two vertical columns of hieroglyphs with her name and the title "supreme chief of the harem ladies of Amun". All are thick-walled and conical in shape. For an identical one in the British Museum see inv. no. EA13152.

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