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plaque

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA59194

  • Description

    An openwork gold plaque: decorated with figures of the king offering to a god. The scene represents King Makherure (Amenemhat IV) offering a vase of unguent to Atum, god of the setting sun. The frame is composed of two uprights supporting the sign for heaven ('pt') with a bar along the bottom. The god wears the double crown with uraeus, a collar and a tunic with straps over his shoulders. From his sloping belt hangs a tail, now broken. The front of his kilt is tied in the 'Girdle of Isis' knot ('tit'). In his right hand he carries an 'ankh-amulet and in his left a 'was'-sceptre. He is bearded. The king wears the 'khat' bag-wig with uraeus, the kilt with tail and the 'shendiyt'-apron. He holds an unguent container in his hands. Between the two figures are the hieroglyphs.
    The technique is true ajouré, i.e. cutting out from a piece of sheet metal. The details are chased. Solder can be seen in some places, notably at Atum's feet. The reverse bears no surface decoration. Three pins are soldered on to this side, one in the centre of the 'pt'-sign, the others at the top of each of the figure's legs. There are no rings for suspension.

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  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 3.1 centimetres
    • Height: 3.1 centimetres
    • Thickness: 0.005 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        hieroglyphic
      • Inscription Position

        between two figures
      • Inscription Transliteration

        dỉt m(ḏ)t
      • Inscription Translation

        Giving unguent
      • Inscription Comment

        The second sign of the word mḏt is broken, but there is little doubt of its original form.
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        hieroglyphic
      • Inscription Position

        above two figures
      • Inscription Transliteration

        nṯr nfr Mʒ‘ -ḫrw-R‘,
      • Inscription Translation

        The Good God, Makherure
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        hieroglyphic
      • Inscription Position

        above two figures
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Tm nb 'Innw
      • Inscription Translation

        Atum, Lord of Heliopolis
      • Inscription Comment

        The second sign of the word mdt is broken and in its present state looks more like ? than j but there can be little doubt of its original form.
  • Curator's comments

    Although this object has been called a pectoral there is little reason to suppose it was one. The lack of suspension rings and its pins make it more likely to have been the covering for a cylindrical amulet similar to 1896,0511.41 (see The British Museum, 'A Guide to the Third and Fourth Egyptian Rooms' (London, 1904), 32, no. 18; E. A. Wallis Budge 'A Guide to the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Egyptian Rooms, and the Coptic Room' (London, 1922), 218, 18) or the decoration from a small box or ointment container (see 'Comptes Renus. Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (Paris, 1928), 34), held in position by the three pins on the reverse side. 1896,0511.41 is in the Department of the Ancient Near East: it is a cylinder seal of gold ajouré work banded round a core of malachite. A king wearing the 'atef'-crown is pouring a libation before a deity who holds a 'was'-sceptre and wears a pointed crown. In another scene on the same object the god is placing a crown on the king's head. The provenance of this piece is not recorded, but it is probably Phoenician.

    Bibliography:
    'Comptes Renus. Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (Paris, 1928), 34;
    'British Museum Quarterly' 4 (1929), 1; pl. Ia:
    B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' VII (Oxford: Clarendon Press), 391;
    The British Museum, 'The British Museum Guide' (London, 1930), 146, fig. 74; 265; 324;
    The British Museum, ‘A General Introductory Guide to the Egyptian Collections in the British Museum’ (London, 1964), 40; 211;
    The British Museum, ‘An Introduction to Ancient Egypt’ (London, 1979), 53, fig. 13, 226;
    W. S. Smith, Interconnections in the Ancient Near East. A Study of the Relationships betweens the Arts of Egypt, the Aegean and Western Asia’ (New Haven & London, 1965), 15-16;
    E. Feucht-Putz, Die königlichen Pektorale: Motive, Sinngehalt und Zweck’ (Bamberg, 1967), 38-9, no. 7;
    The British Museum, 'Jewellery through 7000 years' [exhibition catalogue] (London, 1976), no. 27;
    S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, 'The British Museum book of Ancient Egypt' (London, 1992), fig. 150;
    I. Shaw and P. Nicholson (eds.), 'British Museum dictionary of Ancient Egypt' (London, 1995), p. 144;
    E. Russmann, 'Eternal Egypt : masterworks of ancient art from the British Museum' , (New York, 2001), 109 No 34;
    Temples and Tombs (American Federation of Arts, 2006): 68, cat no. 25;
    N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, p. 96.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Russmann 2001 34 bibliographic details
    • Andrews 1981 558 bibliographic details
    • Andrews 1990 65a bibliographic details
    • Strudwick 2006 p.96 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    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
    2015 March -Sept. New York. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Middle Kingdom. PROMISED

  • Condition

    good

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1929

  • Acquisition notes

    Part of a small collection offered to Bm by Saraffian on the advice of L. Woolley (ANE Correspondence October-November 19327, q.v. Woolley); deposited in BM 25/11/27 (ANE deposit book).

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA59194

  • Registration number

    1929,0209.1

An openwork gold plaque: decorated with figures of the king offering to a god. The scene represents King Makherure (Amenemhat IV) offering a vase of unguent to Atum, god of the setting sun. The frame is composed of two uprights supporting the sign for heaven ('pt') with a bar along the bottom. The god wears the double crown with uraeus, a collar and a tunic with straps over his shoulders. From his sloping belt hangs a tail, now broken. The front of his kilt is tied in the 'Girdle of Isis' knot ('tit'). In his right hand he carries an 'ankh-amulet and in his left a 'was'-sceptre. He is bearded. The king wears the 'khat' bag-wig with uraeus, the kilt with tail and the 'shendiyt'-apron. He holds an unguent container in his hands. Between the two figures are the hieroglyphs. 

The technique is true ajouré, i.e. cutting out from a piece of sheet metal. The details are chased. Solder can be seen in some places, notably at Atum's feet. The reverse bears no surface decoration. Three pins are soldered on to this side, one in the centre of the 'pt'-sign, the others at the top of each of the figure's legs. There are no rings for suspension.

An openwork gold plaque: decorated with figures of the king offering to a god. The scene represents King Makherure (Amenemhat IV) offering a vase of unguent to Atum, god of the setting sun. The frame is composed of two uprights supporting the sign for heaven ('pt') with a bar along the bottom. The god wears the double crown with uraeus, a collar and a tunic with straps over his shoulders. From his sloping belt hangs a tail, now broken. The front of his kilt is tied in the 'Girdle of Isis' knot ('tit'). In his right hand he carries an 'ankh-amulet and in his left a 'was'-sceptre. He is bearded. The king wears the 'khat' bag-wig with uraeus, the kilt with tail and the 'shendiyt'-apron. He holds an unguent container in his hands. Between the two figures are the hieroglyphs. The technique is true ajouré, i.e. cutting out from a piece of sheet metal. The details are chased. Solder can be seen in some places, notably at Atum's feet. The reverse bears no surface decoration. Three pins are soldered on to this side, one in the centre of the 'pt'-sign, the others at the top of each of the figure's legs. There are no rings for suspension.

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