Lot

16

Rare Egyptian Wood Sarcophagus of Falcon / Horus

In Exceptional Antiquities, Asian, Ethnographic

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Erie , Colorado
Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, ca. 26th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. An incredibly rare, hand-carved and painted wood (likely cedar) lidded mummiform sarcophagus depicting Falcon Bird Horus - the lid presenting a finely delineated avian visage comprised of large round, wide-open eyes and a protruding curved beak framed by a royal tripartite wig with a mummiform body. The orb-like eyes of Horus are apropos, as the falcon deity's right eye was interpreted as the sun or morning star, representing mighty power, and his left eye was understood as the moon or evening star, representing the ability to heal. The lower section is joined to it via wooden pegs. An incredibly rare artifact with traces of painted gesso details upon the face and body. Size: 20.5" H (52.1 cm); 22" H (55.9 cm) on included custom stand.

The ancient Egyptians believed that their pharaoh was a personification of Horus the sky god - depicted as either a falcon-headed man donning the pschent (a red and white crown) to symbolize his reign over Egypt or as the bird itself - a powerful icon of power, speed, and talent for hunting - as we see in this example. Certainly this association between Horus and the king existed from the early Dynastic period (ca. 3100 BCE); however, the Horus king cult became very popular during the Ptolemaic Period. What's more statues of Horus were created to adorn temples as an image of kingship - capturing an image of Horus on earth.

Interestingly, cedar wood was not native to Egypt. Egypt did not have verdant forests filled with tall trees, and unfortunately most of its native lumber was of relatively poor quality. Thus, they relief on importing to acquire hardwoods - ebony imported from Africa, cedar and pine from Lebanon. One fabulous obelisk inscription by Thutmose III attests to the luxury of hardwoods. It reads as follows, "They brought to me the choicest products …consisting of cedar, juniper and of meru wood … all the good sweet woods of God's Land." The rarity of cedar meant that masks like this example were reserved for those who could afford them.

Provenance: ex-Arte Primitivo, June 28, 2008, Lot 325; ex-private Pennsylvania, USA collection

Condition: Age cracks/fissures and losses to top of head and peripheries as shown. Long, stable age crack from the left side to the falcon's head to his chest. Expected weathered surface with pigment/gesso losses commensurate with age, but some still graces the sarcophagus. Held closed with original wooden dowels/pegs.

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.

#141587
Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, ca. 26th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. An incredibly rare, hand-carved and painted wood (likely cedar) lidded mummiform sarcophagus depicting Falcon Bird Horus - the lid presenting a finely delineated avian visage comprised of large round, wide-open eyes and a protruding curved beak framed by a royal tripartite wig with a mummiform body. The orb-like eyes of Horus are apropos, as the falcon deity's right eye was interpreted as the sun or morning star, representing mighty power, and his left eye was understood as the moon or evening star, representing the ability to heal. The lower section is joined to it via wooden pegs. An incredibly rare artifact with traces of painted gesso details upon the face and body. Size: 20.5" H (52.1 cm); 22" H (55.9 cm) on included custom stand.

The ancient Egyptians believed that their pharaoh was a personification of Horus the sky god - depicted as either a falcon-headed man donning the pschent (a red and white crown) to symbolize his reign over Egypt or as the bird itself - a powerful icon of power, speed, and talent for hunting - as we see in this example. Certainly this association between Horus and the king existed from the early Dynastic period (ca. 3100 BCE); however, the Horus king cult became very popular during the Ptolemaic Period. What's more statues of Horus were created to adorn temples as an image of kingship - capturing an image of Horus on earth.

Interestingly, cedar wood was not native to Egypt. Egypt did not have verdant forests filled with tall trees, and unfortunately most of its native lumber was of relatively poor quality. Thus, they relief on importing to acquire hardwoods - ebony imported from Africa, cedar and pine from Lebanon. One fabulous obelisk inscription by Thutmose III attests to the luxury of hardwoods. It reads as follows, "They brought to me the choicest products …consisting of cedar, juniper and of meru wood … all the good sweet woods of God's Land." The rarity of cedar meant that masks like this example were reserved for those who could afford them.

Provenance: ex-Arte Primitivo, June 28, 2008, Lot 325; ex-private Pennsylvania, USA collection

Condition: Age cracks/fissures and losses to top of head and peripheries as shown. Long, stable age crack from the left side to the falcon's head to his chest. Expected weathered surface with pigment/gesso losses commensurate with age, but some still graces the sarcophagus. Held closed with original wooden dowels/pegs.

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.

#141587

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.

Important Information

An important one-day auction featuring museum-worthy examples of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Near Eastern, Far East / Asian, Pre-Columbian, African / Tribal, Oceanic, Native American, Spanish Colonial, Russian, Fossils, Ancient Jewelry, Fine Art, so much more! All items offered for sale have been legally acquired, are legal to sell and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back. All shipping is handled in-house for your convenience.

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