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* An Egyptian Limestone Sculptor's Model of a Pharaoh, Ptolemaic Period, ca. 332 - 30 BCE

ES1902

The well carved, idealized head with an oval face, almond-shaped eyes, upturned mouth and wide nose, the nemes-headcloth tucked behind the ears, long lappets over each shoulder.

There are two schools of thought regarding the purpose of these so-called "sculptor's models." Because they are small, usually represent deities or kings, and are often unfinished, it is plausible that they were demonstration pieces for a sculptor’s apprentice to copy. Alternatively, they could have been votive offerings deposited in temples.

For a similar example, see Nadja Samir Tomoum, The Sculptors’ Models of the Late and Ptolemaic Periods: A Study of the Type and Function of a Group of Ancient Egyptian Artefacts (Cairo, 2005), pl.24/c

Ref: E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: Masterworks of Ancient Art from the British Museum, (London 2001), p. 250-1, no. 139.
C.C. Edgar, Sculptors’ Studies and Unfinished Works (Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire, nos. 33301-33506) (Cairo, 1906), esp. pls. VIII-XIV, nos 33340, 33342, 33346, 33355;
N.S. Tomoum, The Sculptors’ Models of the Late and Ptolemaic Periods. A Study of the Type and Function of a Group of Ancient Egyptian Artefacts (Cairo, 2005);
Eric Young, "Sculptors' Models or Votives? In Defense of a Scholarly Tradition", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 22 (New York, 1964), p. 247-256.

Dimensions: Height: 4 3/4 inches (12 cm)

Condition: Some wear to the surface, with chipping to the face and losses to the edges.

Provenance:  J.L. private collection, Texas, acquired in the mid-1990s from the NY trade.


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