An Egyptian Wood Sokar Bird, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BC


Very fined rendered wood and polychrome statuette, body painted in soft cream with deep red lozenge-pattern to each side, perhaps representing stylized wings.  At the front, the legs are defined in black pigment and colored a deep green.  The back is richly decorated with lotus blossoms and there is a large roundel near the tail.  A feathered collar is defined upon the shoulders and back. It includes a menat-counterpoise.

The Memphite god of the dead since the Old Kingdom, Sokar was the patron of the workers who built the necropolis and the craftsmen who made tomb artifacts and of those who made ritual objects and substances used in mummification. By the start of the New Kingdom, he was united with Ptah and Osiris to become one deity, Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. In this form he represents creation, stability, and death, which were the three aspects of the universe.

Sokar was the important funerary god throughout Egyptian history and worshipped throughout Upper Egypt. His cult centers were built at Memphis and Thebes. There was a Henu Festival held every year in Thebes to celebrated Osiris’ resurrection as Seker. Huge processions with the image of Sokar were carried in a gilded boat, during this festival.

Condition: Intact and in very good condition with excellent remaining polychrome

Dimensions: Height: 7.6 cm, Length: 10.5 cm

Provenance: Acquired from Superior Stamp and Coin in early 1970s, thereafter private Californian collection

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