* A fine Egyptian Steatite Statuette of a Falcon, 26th Dynasty, ca 664 - 525 BCE


Finely carved, this steatite falcon stands with well-defined talons, his wings swept back, on an integral rectangular base.  The figure is beautifully rendered; the face and hooked beak appear with a deep-browed forward gaze, the head and neck feathers neatly depicted, while the wing feathers are portrayed with short and long incised lines.  The shoulders are square, the wings tucked in and crossed over at the back.

Background:  Horus is one of the oldest and most significant deities in the ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egypt specialists. These various forms may possibly be different perceptions of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner or peregrine, or as a man with a falcon head.

Dimensions: Height: 1 3/4 inches (4.4 cm), Length: 1 5/8 inches (4 cm)

Condition:   Missing crown element on top of his head, otherwise intact.  A fine example.

Provenance:   Donated to the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 1925 by Miss Lily S. Place, deaccessioned in 1958.  Private NYC collection, acquired from the NY trade in 2009.  Museum collection number, 25.119 painted in red on the integrated base.

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