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    Description

    AN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN USHABTI
    Circa 664-525 B.C.
    Faience
    4-1/2 inches (11.4 cm)

    Ushabti, also known as "shabti" or "shawabti," were small, upright mummiform figures placed in the tomb with the deceased in order to perform labor for the decedent in the afterlife. "Shabti" is an Egyptian word for "answerer." Within the Egyptian "Book of the Dead," also buried in the tomb, the decedent could find a specific mortuary spell to read aloud in order to bring the ushabti to life, ready to perform tasks and do his owner's bidding. This ushabti is holding a pick in one hand and a hoe in the other.

    Shabti inscriptions often contain the 6th chapter of the "Book of the Dead," translated as:

    "Illumine the Osiris NN, whose word is truth. Hail, Shabti. If the Osiris NN be decreed to do any of the work which is to be done in the Khert-Neter (i.e. the cemetery), let everything which standeth in the way be removed from him - whether it be to plough the fields, or to fill the channels with water, or to carry sand from (the East to the West). 'Here am I', you shall say, 'I shall do it.'" (Example, for NN, Akhenaten, "Osiris Akhenaten").

    Ushabti were most commonly constructed from faience, like this example, but others were made of wax, clay, wood, stone, terracotta, and rarely, bronze or glass.

    This ushabti doll was found at Sakara and is from the Saite period (XXVIth Dynasty), circa 664-525 B.C.

    Provenance:
    From a private collection other than the Crow Art Partnership


    Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,711

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