Egyptian Gilded Bronze Statuette of Osiris

Egyptian · Late Period (ca. 600 B.C.)

Material

Gilded Bronze

Dimensions

H: 39 cm

Reference

19786

Price

POR

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Overview

Osiris, the god of fecundity of the Egyptian soil, the guardian of the order of the universe and the cycles of nature, the ruler of the under-world, which contained the seeds of life, and, at the same time, the protector of the deceased, to whom he would promise life after death, is wrapped in a shroud that perfectly hugs the con-tours of his body, which proportions are slender and elegant. In his hands, he holds the flagellum (the nekhekh scepter, visible in the left hand) and the hekat scepter, the shepherds’ crook.

On his head he wears his usual headgear, the atef crown, composed of the white crown of Up-per Egypt, flanked by two ostrich feathers; a snake descends down the front of the headgear, where, just above the forehead, the head of the uræus would have been attached. The chin is adorned with a long false beard with braided locks, terminating in a ringlet. He wears, as an ornament, a large circular necklace composed of different types of beads and provided with a small trapezoidal counterweight.

Condition

No modern restorations; hollow cast with remains of the blackened core; surface corroded and retains traces of gilding; green oxides; some of the inlays in the attributes, crown, and eyes are missing; the tip of the crown reattached.

Provenance

Art market, prior to 1938;

Ex- Philip E. Mitry collection, Cairo;

Ex- UK private collection, acquired in Cairo April 28th, 1938 (with original invoice);

Sotheby’s, London, 16 November 1938, lot 30;

Ex- private collection.

Published

Sotheby’s, London, 16 November 1938, lot 30.

Bibliography

BERMAN L. M., The Cleveland Museum of Art, Catalogue of Egyptian Art, Cleveland, 1999, pp. 431-433, n. 326-328.
HILL M. (ed.), Offrande aux dieux d’Egypte, Martigny, 2008, pp. 128-130.
PAGE-GASSER M. – WIESE A. B., Egypte, Moments d’éternité, Geneva, 1997, pp. 260-261, n. 172.
SCHOSKE S. – WILDUNG D., Gott und Götter um alten Ägypten, Mainz / Rhine, 1992, pp. 123-124, n. 83.
On Osiris, see:
WILKINSON H. R., The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, London, 2003, pp. 118-123.