Ancient Egypt, Third Intermediate Period, 21st to 22nd Dynasty, ca. 1070 to 712 BCE. A stunning bust of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld, from a composite, hollow-cast bronze figure. The bust shows Osiris with large hands crossed atop the smooth chest and holding his symbolic crook and flail, each with several recessed grooves which at one time held attractive inlays of stone, glass, or precious metals. A multi-stranded broad collar hangs across his chest and presents incised registers of repeating beaded, fretted, and teardrop-form motifs. His stylized placid countenance is defined by almond-shaped eyes with elongated canthi beneath slender brows, a veristic nose and mouth, and large cupped ears, with a fragment of inlaid cornflower-blue glass within the left eye socket, and panels of paste glass as well as traces of gilding along the chin strap and corner of the right eye. Small tabs atop the head allowed for the attachment of a separate crown. Size: 6" W x 7.25" H (15.2 cm x 18.4 cm); 11.7" H (29.7 cm) on included custom stand.
For a face of Osiris from a composite statue, preserving similar inlays, please see von Bothmer, et al. "Antiquities from the Collection of Christos G. Bastis." Verlag P. von Zabern, 1987, pp 33-34, no. 9.
A stylistically-similar example of a pharaoh as Osiris - with no broad collar, crook and flail, or inlaid glass - hammered for $83,650 at Christie's, New York "The Morven Collection of Ancient Art" auction (sale 1466, June 8, 2004, lot 553): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/an-egyptian-gilt-bronze-bust-of-a-4287596-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=4287596&sid=a61852ac-5eb8-4fa2-9292-b6cc683de83c
This piece has been tested using thermoluminescence (TL) analysis and has been found to be ancient and of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Christie's, New York Antiquities auction (sale 2605, December 5, 2012, lot 126); ex-Christie's, New York Antiquities auction (sale 2232, December 11, 2009, lot 16); ex-Galerie Heinz Herzer, Munich, Germany, acquired in 1978
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This is a fragment of a larger composite figure. Small fissure on back of left shoulder. Original crown and false beard missing. Losses to verso, lower body, inlays on crook and flail, glass and paste glass inlays, and gilding as shown. Softening to incised broad collar and facial details, with fading to gilded areas, and light encrustations. Nice earthen deposits as well as fabulous green and brown patina throughout. One TL drill hole inside of head.