Head from a royal shawabti
The figurine, which is broken away below the shoulders, is certainly royal, since it wears the striated nemes head-dress with coiled uraeus serpent, the head of which is broken away. The eyebrows and the rims of the eyes are in relief. The ears are large and set well back, the lobes show no evidence of marks to indicate piercing. The figure is not provided with a beard; the pigtail behind is missing.
The dimensions of the statuette favour an interpretation as a shawabti. By the edge of the lappet on the left shoulder can be seen a cord which would have been attached to a bag carried on the back of such figures (see no. 267). Royal shawabtis of the Late Period of Egyptian history are uncommon (see Aubert and Aubert, 1974: 210-15, 243-6, and for a recent overview, Schneider, 1993). It is probable that the present figurine can be added to their number. It is less likely to be a votive figure of a sovereign offered at one of the temples or shrines. Professor Hans Schneider (personal communication, 1993) ascribes it to the xxvith Dynasty and identifies it as probably Necho 11 or Psammetichus n on the evidence of the striated wig.
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection 3 volume catalogue, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997).
Purchased by the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia from Peter Sharrer in 1977 out of funds provided by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury.
Not on display
Title/Description: Head from a royal shawabti
Object Type: Figure
Measurements: h. 40 x w. 40 x d. 30 mm
Accession Number: 683
Historic Period: Dynasty XXX (380-343 BC)
Credit Line: Purchased with support from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1977