Detailed information of ArtWork
Ushabti of a Prince (ca. Dynasty 19-20)
Dimensions : H: 11.9 cm
Acquired on the London art market in the eighties.
This ushabti represents a child wearing a rounded, achromatic wig, which also includes a long black lock ending in a curl: this detail characterizes the figure as a young prince. The other usual attributes of ushabtis are only sketched or left unfinished: a semicircular line for the usekh necklace, the line drawn hands without the agricultural tools, the undecorated posterior part. The inscription reads: “The son of the king, the priest Sem of Ptah, Khaemwaset, justified”. The formula here is shortened, since the priest Sem of Ptah was also called “the great chief of all artisans”. At that time, it was one of the most important titles in the Egyptian religious hierarchy. According to the written sources, two contemporary figures bearing this same are attested: one was the son of Ramses II (many ushabtis with his name are documented) and the other was the son of Ramses III. From the late New Kingdom on, the iconography and the purpose of the ushabtis were standardized: from substitutes for the deceased, these figurines became slaves and served their masters in the chores of daily life. In the Middle Kingdom, each deceased was accompanied by only one ushabti, but from the New Kingdom, their number increased significantly to one statuette per day of the year, or even more. Complete and in very good condition, but reassembled. Minor chips, slightly faded glaze.
Rue Etienne-Dumont 9, Geneva, Switzerland