Lot

4a

Translated Egyptian Faience Ushabti for Semataui

In Exceptional Antiquities, Asian, Ethnographic

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Erie , Colorado
Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 26th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. A gorgeous mold-formed faience ushabti covered in soft green glaze across most of the body with traces of blue-green glaze around the ankles. The figure stands in mummiform on an integral rectangular plinth, holds the symbolic pick and hoe in arms crossed atop the chest, and has a seed bag raised along the back of one shoulder. Gentle almond-shaped eyes, a perky nose, full lips curled into a slight smile with indented corners, cupped ears, and a braided false beard compose the serene countenance, and the head is capped with a striated tripartite wig. Nine lines of inscribed hieroglyphic text identify this individual as Semataui (also Sema-Taui, Sema Taui), a Sameref priest and commander of Egyptian military troops, and provide him with blessings for his journey through the afterlife. Size: 2.125" W x 8" H (5.4 cm x 20.3 cm).

This ushabti and many others like it were meant to be placed inside a tomb for the inscribed individual to aid them both in their journey to the afterlife as well as the duties prescribed to them. When translated, this ushabti reads, "The Illuminated, the Osiris, the Sameref priest, commander of the troop, Semataui, son of Sheri, born of Tashepset, justified, he says: O these ushabtis, if counted upon, the Osiris, the Sameref priest, commander of the troop, Semataui, son of Sheri, born of Tashepset, justified, to do all the works that are to be done there in the realm of the dead - now indeed obstacles are implanted there - as a man at his duties, 'here I am!' you shall say when you are counted upon at any time to serve there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to ferry the sand of the west to the east and vice-versa, 'here I am' you shall say."

This is an interesting ushabti, because the names of the inscribed individuals tell us where Semataui lived. The inscribed names indicate that this individual was from Heracleopolis because his name "Semataui" (Greek Somtous, translated as "he who unifies the two lands") represents a provincial falcon-headed deity who was worshipped in this part of Egypt. The title bestowed to Semataui of "Sameref" (meaning "the son whom he loves") is a priestly title associated with Heracleopolis Magna (Middle Egypt). The name of his father, "Sheri" (meaning "the child"), as well as the name of his mother, "Tasepsetherti" (meaning "the noble one is content"), are also indicative of Middle Egyptian origin.

Provenance: private Colorado, USA collection; ex-collection of a prominent judge, Northern Germany, acquired in 1981

Condition: Minor abrasions to head, body, and base, light softening to some finer details and hieroglyphic text, and fading to original glaze coloration, otherwise intact and near-choice. Light earthen deposits throughout.

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#143807
Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 26th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. A gorgeous mold-formed faience ushabti covered in soft green glaze across most of the body with traces of blue-green glaze around the ankles. The figure stands in mummiform on an integral rectangular plinth, holds the symbolic pick and hoe in arms crossed atop the chest, and has a seed bag raised along the back of one shoulder. Gentle almond-shaped eyes, a perky nose, full lips curled into a slight smile with indented corners, cupped ears, and a braided false beard compose the serene countenance, and the head is capped with a striated tripartite wig. Nine lines of inscribed hieroglyphic text identify this individual as Semataui (also Sema-Taui, Sema Taui), a Sameref priest and commander of Egyptian military troops, and provide him with blessings for his journey through the afterlife. Size: 2.125" W x 8" H (5.4 cm x 20.3 cm).

This ushabti and many others like it were meant to be placed inside a tomb for the inscribed individual to aid them both in their journey to the afterlife as well as the duties prescribed to them. When translated, this ushabti reads, "The Illuminated, the Osiris, the Sameref priest, commander of the troop, Semataui, son of Sheri, born of Tashepset, justified, he says: O these ushabtis, if counted upon, the Osiris, the Sameref priest, commander of the troop, Semataui, son of Sheri, born of Tashepset, justified, to do all the works that are to be done there in the realm of the dead - now indeed obstacles are implanted there - as a man at his duties, 'here I am!' you shall say when you are counted upon at any time to serve there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to ferry the sand of the west to the east and vice-versa, 'here I am' you shall say."

This is an interesting ushabti, because the names of the inscribed individuals tell us where Semataui lived. The inscribed names indicate that this individual was from Heracleopolis because his name "Semataui" (Greek Somtous, translated as "he who unifies the two lands") represents a provincial falcon-headed deity who was worshipped in this part of Egypt. The title bestowed to Semataui of "Sameref" (meaning "the son whom he loves") is a priestly title associated with Heracleopolis Magna (Middle Egypt). The name of his father, "Sheri" (meaning "the child"), as well as the name of his mother, "Tasepsetherti" (meaning "the noble one is content"), are also indicative of Middle Egyptian origin.

Provenance: private Colorado, USA collection; ex-collection of a prominent judge, Northern Germany, acquired in 1981

Condition: Minor abrasions to head, body, and base, light softening to some finer details and hieroglyphic text, and fading to original glaze coloration, otherwise intact and near-choice. Light earthen deposits throughout.

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#143807

Exceptional Antiquities, Asian, Ethnographic

Sale Date(s)
Venue Address
P.O. BOX 714
Erie
Colorado
80516
United States

For Artemis Gallery delivery information please telephone +1 7208907700.

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