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figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA60006

  • Description

    Gold-plated silver figure of Amun-Ra: this figure was cast in silver and decorated with gold overlays on the headdress, collar necklace, and kilt. His divine beard shows that he is a god, and his headdress identifies him as Amun. Though he was sometimes depicted as a ram, with short curling horns (or, in his Nubian temples, as a ram-headed god), Amun was primarily an anthropoid god. His crown, similar in shape to the red crown, is topped by two tall feathers and a sun disk, symbolic of his assimilation with the sun god, Ra, as Amun-Ra.

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  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 24 centimetres (with base)
    • Weight: 0.7 kilograms
    • Width: 5 centimetres
    • Depth: 10 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The use of silver and gold for this figure suggests that it was made as a cult statue. Temple records describe such figures as made of precious materials and quite small. Among the very few surviving statues of this type is another Amun, a solid gold figure made early in the Third Intermediate Period, and a richly gilded and inlaid silver figure of a seated falcon-headed god. Until quite recently, metal statues of high quality were routinely dated to the Third Intermediate Period or later. Although a few New Kingdom bronze statuettes were known, it was generally assumed that almost all early metal sculpture had been melted down in order to recycle the bronze, silver, or gold. During the past few decades however, fine Middle Kingdom statues of copper alloy, made during the late Twelfth Dynasty, have become known, and increasing numbers of New Kingdom bronze statuettes are coming to light.

    Bibliography:
    S. Quirke and J. Spencer, 'British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt', (London, 1992), p. 76, fig. 55;
    B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' II (2) (Oxford, 1972), p.289;
    N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 200-1.Email from Ann Russman to NCS, Feb 2006, indicates that Marcel has made a suggestion that the statuette could be 26th dyn. AR says "... I can't see that either the face or the anatomy indicate so late a date. However, Richard Fazzini has pointed out that certain iconographical features, most notably the sun disk on the crown, are common on TIP figures of Amun but almost unknown earlier." She suggests c. 1295-750 BC to be safe.

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  • Bibliography

    • Russmann 2001 82 bibliographic details
    • Shaw & Nicholson 1995 p271 bibliographic details
    • Strudwick 2006 pp.200-201 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2010 1 May-31 Oct, Shanghai Expo 2010
    2011 Jul–Sept, Newcastle, Great North Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Oct–Jan, Dorchester, Dorset County Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Feb–June, Leeds City Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Jul-Oct, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Nov– Feb 2013, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2013 Mar–Aug, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery , Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    [Theme: Born of the Gods]
    2013, 25 Oct- 2014, 15 Feb, Wuhan, Hubei Provincial Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt, PROMISED

  • Condition

    good

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1835

  • Acquisition notes

    Lot 764

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA60006

  • Registration number

    .60006

  • Additional IDs

    • BS.6 (Birch Slip Number)

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Object reference number: YCA23607

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