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EGYPTIAN WOOD SARCOPHAGUS PANEL, 2000 BC

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Egyptian: Wood: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1072667

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EGYPTIAN WOOD SARCOPHAGUS PANEL, 2000 BC
Culture: Egyptian. Date: 2000 B.C. (Middle Kingdom). Material: Wood. Condition: Intact. Provenance: Ex. Early private collection, 1960's. Measurements: 20 1/8 x 11 15/16 (51 x 30.2 cms). Preserving a panel of a wood sarcophagus containing twin "eye" motifs, surrounded by two horizontal rows of hieroglyphic inscriptions, and three vertical rows of hieroglyphic inscriptions to the right. The decoration painted in turquoise, white, and black over yellow. In an Egyptian funeral, the sarcophagus occupies a place of major importance. The texts explain how the deceased lives inside it as in the house he occupied on earth, how he can come and go at will through the door traced on the sides and how the two skillfully drawn eyes allow the deceased to to observe the life of the living without having to move about. The wedjat eye, a combination of a human eye and that of a falcon, symbolizes the physical intergrity without which no one can survive. During the Middle Kingdom, commoners are buried in painted wooden sarcophagi, some of which are beautifully crafted, as our present panel. Cf: For a sarcophagus with similar motifs, see lot # 26, Sotheby's London Antiquities auction, 14 December 1990, also, figs. 1-2, p. 31, and pp. 28-30, Khashaba, Lapp.


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