Third Intermediate Period to Late Period, Dynasties 22 to 26, ca. 945 to 525 BCE. A solid, leaded bronze ibis head delineated with incised eyes and a long, curved beak. A close look reveals more details - incised linear delineation of the separation between the bird's upper and lower beak and a crested center tracing the midline of the upper beak. The patina on this piece boasts deep green hues and contributes even more to its beauty. Ibis figures with bronze heads and legs attached to hollow wooden bodies were used by the Egyptians to hold the mummified remains of ibises who were linked to Toth, the god of wisdom and writing. Size: 5.125" L x 3.625" H (13 cm x 9.2 cm); 5.25" H (13.3 cm) on included custom stand.
The ibis, an elegant, long-legged wading bird that lives along the shores of the Nile, was associated with the god Thoth. He was the god of wisdom and writing, and in worship to him many thousands of ibises were ritually sacrificed, embalmed, and mummified before being buried in underground galleries. Thousands of these burials have been excavated at Sakkara, near Memphis, Egypt's ancient capital.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Dr. Sid Port collection, California, USA, acquired in the 1980s
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