Egyptian White Faience Shabti of Khaemwaset

Egyptian White Faience Shabti of Khaemwaset

An Egyptian white multicolored faience shabti of Khaemwaset. The mummiform figure wears a collar, a short wig with a side lock of hair, typical for a Sem Priest, his crossed hands hold agricultural equipment. A vertical Hieroglyphic inscription is painted on the front reading, ?Son of the King (Prince), Sem Priest of Ptah, Khaemwaset, justified.?

New Kingdom, Ramesside Period,
19th Dynasty, Ca. 1250 - 1230 BC.
Height: 4 1/4 in. (12 cm).
Intact.

Khaemwaset was a son of Ramesses II. He was an important Ramesside prince who was revered in his time as a magician. He has been referred to as the first Egyptologist for his documented interest in Egypt's Old Kingdom monuments which were by his time already over 1000 years old. He restored many of these early monuments and some, like the 5th Dynasty pyramid of Unas at Saqqara, bear his inscriptions.

Shabtis were first introduced in the Middle Kingdom as substitutes for the the mummy in case it was destroyed. During the Second Intermediate Period inscribed wooden figures called shawabtis (after the Egyptian word for wood, shawab) began to be placed in tombs. During the New Kingdom, shabtis assumed a new role as servant figures for the deceased. They were now depicted with agricultural equipment. By the Third Intermediate Period, the number of shabtis placed in the tomb was set at 401 (365 workers and 36 overseers). During the Late Period the tomb figures became known as ushabtis ('answerers'), these figures represented servants who would magically answer when called upon to perform agricultural duties for the Pharaoh (in the form of Osiris) in the afterlife. Their main function was to ensure the individual's comfort and freedom from daily labor in the next life.

The authenticity of this piece has been confirmed by a thermoluminescence test performed by QED laboratory in France and an XRF analysis performed by Emory University in Georgia.

cf.: Musee du Louvre, inv. nos. N56A & N768, excavated by A. Mariette at the Serapeum in Saqqara in 1852.

Formerly in the collection of Dr. Leopoldo Benguerel y Godo, Barcelona, acquired in London in the 1960's.

Inv#: 5887

$8,500



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