TITLE: Shabti for Baka
PERIOD: 19th Dynasty, 1543–1292 BC. Reign of Ramesses II.
DIMENSIONS: Height 14,2 cm
PRICE: 4,400 euro
PROVENANCE: Ex. Dr. Leopold Benguerel collection. Acquired at the London art market during the 1960s.
This is a funerary anthropomorphous figurine in white faience of typical mummified form. She is wearing a black tripartite wig. The facial features, like the eyes and the mouth are also marked in black, as are agricultural implements held in the hands.
A usekh collar is depicted on the breast in a simplified representation and the arms are crossed, either hand holding a hoe, all rendered in black. The figure has a column of hieroglyphic text inscribed down its front that reads in translation “Illuminated Osiris is the son, lady of the house, Baka the justified.” On the back of the figure there is a sack of seeds which the figure carries to be used in the afterlife and on the base it is represented the symbol of beauty (nefer).
Shabtis were funerary figures intended to act as servants for the deceased, should he be called upon to do manual labor in the afterlife. However, these figurines were also offered in temples dedicated to Osiris, either in Abydos or in the temple of Seker in Memphis, where this piece probably comes from.
- BOVOT, J. Les serviteurs funeraires royaux et princiers de l'Ancienne Egypte. Paris: Editions de la Reunion des musees nationeuax, 2003.
- GLEEN, J. Shabtis, a private view. Paris: Librairie Cybele, 2002.
- SCHNEIDER, H. D. Shabtis. Leiden: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, 1997.
- STEWART, H. M. Egypyian shabtis. United Kingdom: Shire Egyptology, 1995.