Mysterious shabti figures linked to Egyptian pharaohs up for auction

Posted on 28/07/2018 in Press Coverage

Rare and mysterious artefacts from ancient Egypt - some linked to famous pharaohs - are expected to fetch thousands of pounds at auction.

A huge collection of Egyptian shabti figures is to be sold. Shabtis were placed in tombs and intended to act as servants or minions for the deceased should they be called upon to do manual labour in the afterlife.

The figures were collected in the 1920s by Hans Moller Hansen during trips to Egypt and later inherited by his grandson, Hans Nielsen, in Denmark.

Around 90 of the rare figures will be sold in an Antiquities, Ancient Art and Classical Coins Auction at Derbyshire’s Hansons Auctioneers on Monday, July 30.

James Brenchley, head of antiquities at Hansons, said: “This really is a stunning collection of Egyptian shabti figures. Some have royal pedigree being linked to pharaohs, the monarchs of ancient Eqypt.

“These artefacts have been treasured and researched by members of the Hansen family for nearly a century.”

“One of the royal Shabti figures is for Khaemwaset, fourth son of famous pharaoh Rameses II.Khaemwaset was born in 1303 BCE and died in 1213 BCE. His name translates to, ‘He who appears in Thebes’.

“A particularly rare triangle glyph (symbol) can be seen on the bottom of the piece, which could indicate it was a temple figure. Khaemwaset was born into a highly influential period of Egyptian history and would have experienced the famous battle of Qadesh against the Hittites in Syria. It has an estimate of £4,000-£6,000.

“Another rare artefact is an upper section of a shabti for the famous New Kingdom pharaoh Seti I.C. 1279 BCE.Seti I was the father of Rameses II and the son of Rameses I.

“After the serious decline of the Egyptian kingdom and the reign of Akhenaten - the father of Tutankhamun - Seti led forces over the borders to reinstate Egypt’s power and stronghold over the empire.”

“Shabti figures for Seti have reached tens of thousands on the antiquities market and I would expect this stunning item, with important context, to reach over £1,000.”

Click here to browse the catalogue.

The Egyptian Royal Khaemwaset shabti, lot 142, and Royal Seti I pharaonic shabti section, lot 247, will be sold at Hansons Auctioneers, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire, on Monday, July 30, as part of a two-day Antiquities, Ancient Art and Classic Coins Auction on July 30-31. Bids can be placed online at and at www.the-saleroom,com. For further information, email [email protected] or call 01283 733988.