Statuette of a squatting goddess
The statuette, which is probably an ex voto, shows the divinity (almost certainly Maat, goddess of Truth), squatting in a cloak on a rectangular base, her knees drawn up, her arms concealed. She wears a tripartite wig with lappets in the front, encircled by deep channel for the insertion of a fillet in another material, probably glass, tied in a simple loop at the rear, the unequal ends hanging down. The ears are exposed and the lobes are indented, indicting piercing for earrings. From the bottom of the wig to the base runs a wide but shallow back pillar. Beneath the base is a shallow rectangular projection, for insertion in a mount.
On the crown of the head is a rectangular hole for the insertion of an emblem (possibly a maat-feather, symbolising ‘truth’), evidently of bronze to judge from the mineralised green stump filling the cavity, and doubtless originally gilded. Traces of gold foil in the corner of an eye and on the nose show that the face was also once gilded. There is slight damage to the wig lappets, right breast and left elbow.
Egyptian blue is a fused siliceous frit, coloured blue with copper compounds. It could be moulded or worked by hand, and was sometimes ground to make a pigment.
Formerly in the Omar Pasha Sultan Collection, no. 152 (Omar Pasha Sultan, 1929: pl. XXVII).
Purchased by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury from Mathias Komor, New York in 1978.
Accessioned into the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia circa 1989.