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This not very attractive  small green faience figure apears to be holding tools as do most shabtis.

It's possible that the bottom half, the legs,  belong to a diferrent piece but looking at the thing closely it's not possible to be certain about that.


Is it a shabti?


From Dik.

Psusennes II ???


From Tim


An ugly brute indeed!  And not a shabti on the grounds that it has one foot forward, indicating that the subject is either alive or a god.  Shabtis are always feet together (although I'll probably regret saying 'always'... :) and very interesting with the two hoes.   The face is familiar but I can't quite place it at the moment.  As a general (but not absolute) rule, 'shabtis don't have necks', in particular when viewed from front or back,since the wig usually falls vertically on to the shoulders.  I think your suggestion that it is a pastiche is likely correct.  Could it even be possible that head, torso and legs come from separate pieces?! 


 From Julian


TIP Shabtis with legs (standing & walking postures) --

pobably all from Lower or middle-Egypt.


1.       Faience overseer figure of PrinceTakeloth (19.2cm):

- with feet joined together.

- Dynasty XXII, one of 4 overseer figures from Memphis: Badawi, cemetery of Mit-Rahineh, tomb of prince Shoshenq, excavated in 1942;

- in Cairo: Cairo Museum, JE 86816;

-published:  ''Gold of the pharaohs' catalogue no.13, p.40, commentary by Lillian Aubert.



2.       Faience unidentified overseer figure (11.8cm):

- with striding feet.

- Dynasty XXIII-XXV, one of 11figures (the only overseer figure; the workers are mummiform) from Tarkhan (cemetery known as Kafr Ammar) excavated by Wainwright in early 20th. Century;

- in Rochdale: Rochdale arts & heritage service,  258.17.1;

- published: G Janes 'the Shabti collections 3: Rochdale arts & heritage service' catalogue no.43, commentary by Lillian Aubert.



3.       Faience worker figure of Se-Hor-neb (10.2cm):

- with feet joined together.

- TIP date, Dynasty XXII-XXIII(?), find provenance unknown;

- private collection, unpublished (acquired UK market prior to 2010, formerly in a US collection bought in Egypt in 1930s).





4.     Unidentified faience overseer figure (9.7cm):

- with feet joined together.

- TIP date, Dynasty XXII-XXIII(?), find provenance unknown;

- private collection, unpublished (formerly in a Swedish private collection formed in 1950s).


5.       Unidentified  faience overseer figure (8.2cm):

- with feet joined together.

- TIP date, Dynasty XXII-XXIII(?), find provenance unknown: 2 mummiform worker figures also from this tomb group;

- private collection, unpublished (acquired UK market prior to 2000).


6.      Unidentified  faience overseer figure (4.8cm):    

-          With feet joined :  distinct  indentation shown between legs;

-          TIP date, Dynasty XXII(?), excavation provenance unknown;

-          Private collection, unpublished (acquired UK market prior to 2000;)

-          several examples in Cambridge (Fitzwilliam Museum E.GA 2462b, ex Gayer-Anderson collection) and other examples offered for sale at Christie's.


7.       Unidentified pottery overseer figure (8.5cm) :    

- with striding feet.

- TIP date, Dynasty XXI-XXII(?),reported to be from Abydos: one of 2 overseer figures and 2 mummiform worker figures from this tomb group;

- private collection, unpublished (acquired in Egypt in 1977).

From Alain

20th January 2009


Opinions vary but according to many this piece is not genuine. 

This is said to be a modern repro, forgery, rendering, etc.... Fine by me!

The head is 23cm high, weighting 5kg approx and stands alone



My points would be:

1- Nemes: must be typical of a  deity, goddess or queen? Any name or period?

2- Modern sculpture: any chance to restrict this 'modern' notion to a  more specific period by identifying the artist, faker, workshop they final touch or signature (or other mean)?

3- Material: if pics not good enough to figure out the material, would the density help??

4- Prolonged immersion: this head is said to be found underwater (tropical belt). Would it be in such preserved condition,  say, after 80 to 100 years immersion only ? I, personaly, like the modern wreckage scenario...





I have put this in the "What is this?" section rather than the "Is this genuine?" section as I dont think it is ancient.

I also have a nice example of this type of "After The Egyptian style ".

(Probably would sell on ebay as genuine!) 



From Aziz

21st Jan 09

Both the heads are ovbviously not genuine ancient pieces as you say, and the second one is much more attractive.

I don't beleive that there is any way to tell how old the head in question is but such things have been made in Egypt for a couple of hundred years.



From James

22nd Jan 09


I cannot see any evidence of long sea-water  immersion.

None of the typical accretions.

I would say it's defintely a modern piece.


Well, at least both of these are prettier than  these monstrosities being offered on eBay as genuine!

Alain replies



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