AN EGYPTIAN HIPPOPOTAMUS IVORY COSMETIC PALETTE
AN EGYPTIAN HIPPOPOTAMUS IVORY COSMETIC PALETTE
AN EGYPTIAN HIPPOPOTAMUS IVORY COSMETIC PALETTE
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AN EGYPTIAN HIPPOPOTAMUS IVORY COSMETIC PALETTE
5 More
PROPERTY FROM A PRINCELY COLLECTION
AN EGYPTIAN FRAGMENTARY INDURATED LIMESTONE SHABTI FOR AKHENATEN

NEW KINGDOM, 18TH DYNASTY, REIGN OF AKHENATEN, CIRCA 1352-1336 B.C.

Details
AN EGYPTIAN FRAGMENTARY INDURATED LIMESTONE SHABTI FOR AKHENATEN
NEW KINGDOM, 18TH DYNASTY, REIGN OF AKHENATEN, CIRCA 1352-1336 B.C.
5 in. (12.6 cm.) high
Provenance
The Groppi Collection, Switzerland; acquired in the 1920s-1940s.
The 'Per-Neb' Collection (Part I); Christie's, London, 9 December 1992, lot 74.
Antiquities, Sotheby's, New York, 14 June 2000, lot 15.
Swiss private collection, acquired from the above.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Köstlichkeiten aus Kairo!, Antikensmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig und Museum August Kestner Hannover, 2008, pp. 101-102, Abb. 63.

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Claudio Corsi
Claudio Corsi Specialist, Head of Department

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Lot Essay

Akhenaten (Amenophis IV), along with his son Tutankhamun, is undoubtedly one of the most famous Egyptian pharaohs. Associated with a unique period of artistic production and beliefs, his radical programme of religious reform, aimed at abandoning the traditional polytheism in favour of a new monotheistic cult, centred on the worship of the living sun-disc Aten. However, shortly after his death traditional beliefs were quickly re-established and many representations of the heretic king were defaced.
Although more than two hundred shabtis of Akhenaten are known, all deriving from his royal tomb at Amarna, little consensus has been reached as to the nature of the concept of the afterlife envisioned by the heretic pharaoh. While shabti figures generally were intended to perform any duties of the deceased in the next life, the absence of the traditional ritual texts on the examples known from Amarna do little to clarify their ritual meaning. Some scholars have argued that the shabtis from Akhenaten’s tomb represent Osiris rather than the king, but others have doubted the role that Osiris would have played in the religion dominated by worship of the disk form of the sun, the Aten. This example, wearing a long or 'archaic' wig with both hands holding ankh-signs and carved from the indurated limestone typical of the Amarna region, reflects the artistic style of the late reign of Akhenaten, with sfumato eyes and soft, naturalistic features. Cf. G.T. Martin, The Royal Tomb at El-Amarna II: The Reliefs, Inscriptions and Architecture, Egypt Exploration Society, London, 1989, pl. 89, no. 520 for the type.

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