Ancient Egypt, Saite Period, Twenty-Sixth Dynasty (XXVI), ca. 664 to 525 BCE. A heavy cast bronze figure of the mummiform god of the Underworld, Osiris. This would have been a votive figure, perhaps made to be kept in a wealthy home and prayed to, deposited in a temple as an offering, or, most likely, kept for ritual with other metallic objects by priests. Size: 1.8" W x 5.65" H (4.6 cm x 14.4 cm); 7" H (17.8 cm) on included custom stand.
Osiris wears a tight shroud and Atef crown, with two lateral feather plumes flanking a uraeus, known as the double maat. In his hands, which he holds close together at his chest, he has a flagellum and a short-handled heka scepter - both are Egyptian symbols of authority and kingship, showing Osiris's close connection with the pharaoh and his role as Ruler of the Dead. He has a round face, with almond-shaped eyes, large ears, and thick lips below a straight nose. He also has the classic Egyptian false beard, incised to look like it is braided. Incised decoration gives further detail to his tools, his crown, and a pectoral underneath his shroud. One wonderful detail is found on his otherwise unornamented back - incised lines create a tie to hold his crown in place, with a small textile-looking flap hanging down his back.
Item comes accompanied by a French passport.
Provenance: private New York, USA collection; ex-Alexandre Nicolai (1865-1952) collection, Bordeaux, France, then passed down through the family by descent
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