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

Object No: ES1902

$9,500 USD

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.


Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every artifact purchased from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance and age. Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.

Sands of Time Antiquities are proud to uphold the following Code of Conduct:

  • We undertake to make, to the best of our ability, all purchases in good faith.
  • We undertake not to purchase or sell objects until we have established, to the best of our ability, that such objects were not stolen from excavations, architectural monuments, public institutions or private property.
  • We will not dismember and sell separately parts of one complete object.
  • We undertake to the best of ability to keep objects together that were originally meant to be kept together.
  • As appropriate we will keep photographic records of objects prior to repair and restoration, to be honest and open by describing in writing the amount of repair and restoration undertaken to a prospective purchaser.
  • To the best of our ability, we guarantee authenticity and provenance of all objects offered for sale.
Sands of Time offer a very flexible layaway payment plan for all objects offered for sale on our website.  Here's how it works:
  • Deposit:  A deposit of 15% of the total price is required upon purchase.  
  • Checkout:  Order through our website and select the "layaway" option at checkout.
  • Flexibility:   You are not restricted to a set monthly payment; pay what you wish when you wish, however your balance must be paid within six months of the order date or you risk forfeiture.
  • Title:  Property title remains with Sands of Time Antiquities, Inc. until payment is made in full.
  • Shipment:  Once payment is complete, we will ship your order by the next business day.  

Should you cancel your layaway purchase, a 15% restocking-fee will apply. If you exchange or trade-up the objet purchased while it is on layaway, the restocking fee for the original purchase will not apply.  If you would like to take advantage of our layaway system or would like to discuss an alternative option that better suits your budget, please contact us via e-mail or call 1-202-342-0518. 

You may also like

Recently viewed