Egyptian antiquities proved irresistible to buyers with a unique private collection making in excess of £50,000 at auction.
Every one of the 228 lots in The Julian Bird Collection of Egyptian Antiquities sold on February 11 at Hansons London’s Teddington saleroom in what is termed a ‘white glove sale’.
The well-provenanced antiquities were sourced by the late Julian Bird, a respected collector.
Hansons’ Head of Antiquities, James Brenchley said: “It was a privilege working with objects gathered by one of the greatest collectors of Egyptian antiquities Julian Bird was respected by dealers, businesses and private collectors around the world.”
Here, Mr Brenchley choses 10 objects which excelled at auction. All figures stated included buyers’ premium.
Lot 1 – Ancient Egyptian Wooden Shabti For Worker of Rameses II – Sold for £1,985
This Egyptian wooden shabti belonged to a worker for famous Egyptian king Rameses The Great (1292 – 1189 BC). A vertical column of hieroglyphs translates as ‘the Osiris, the pillar, of the child of the temple of Ra’.
This carved figure is portrayed wearing a stylised wig, painted in black paint; facial details carved to a quality pedigree. The face is painted brown with eyes/brows detail in black and white. The arms are crossed on the chest, holding a pair of hoes: one short/broad, one taller/narrow with traces of red paint and a pair of small bags suspended by chords hanging below each hand. Vertical inscription added on front of legs. 28cm high
Lot 5 – Ancient Egyptian Shabti Figure for Huy-Nefer, a Royal Scribe – Sold for £2,230
Huy-Nefer was a royal scribe for the pharaoh, his name literally translated means ‘Amun is satisfied’. He held a high administrative title. Previously sold by Bonhams in 2008. 12.5cm high.
LOT 61 – Large Egyptian painted wooden shabti figure – Sold for £545
Ramesside Period, New Kingdom, Circa 1295 – 1070 BC. Exquisitely presented large wooden shabti figure with painted decoration to the collar and horizontal panel. This example of Egyptian burial shabti is hand-crafted from cedar wood, likely to have been imported from the Lebanon.
LOT 83 – Ancient Egyptian Nile Clay Shabti for Pentaur – Sold for £620
Ramesside Period, New Kingdom, C. 1100 BC. This tall well preserved painted shabti is inscribed for Pentaur formed of red Nile silt clay with a yellow wash over the front of portion. The figure is adorned with a wig and broad collar with eyes and mouth indicated in black. The shabti bears two hoes and a basket held by two cords slung over the shoulder depicted on the unmodeled reverse side in black paint. 18cm high.
LOT 90 – Ancient Egyptian faience shabti for Wen-Nefer – Sold for £360
Third Intermediate Period, C. 945 – 730 BC. A small figure with painted black decoration, with a stylised wig and crossed arms. This exciting figure displays the hieroglyphs reading 'illuminating the Osiris Wen-nefer, true-of-voice’
Lot 96 – Ancient Egyptian faience shabti for Her-mer – sold for £450
Third Intermediate Period, C. 945 – 730 BC. A faience shabti for Her-mere-t - a mistress of the house and songstress of Amun. The hieroglyphs translate as ‘the Osiris, lady of the house, chantress of Amun, Her-meret’.
LOT 209 – Ancient Egyptian display case of Amarna Period Antiquities – Sold for £4,600
Amarna Period, New Kingdom, C. 1340 BC. A colourful selection of Egyptian amulets in stylised form, a decorative beaded necklace and a large ball (melon) bead. This selection of items which were used at the time of Akhentaten, an Egyptian king who defined thousands of years of tradition and decided to change the main pantheon of gods, to one single deity, the sun-disc, known as the Aten. An extremely rare and collective selection of Egyptian antiquities displayed in a mounted box.
LOT 212 – Ancient Egyptian display case of scarabs – Sold for £1,860
Late Dynastic Period, C. 664 – 525 BC. A selection of Egyptian amulets in the form of scarabs, some with wings attached which would have been placed on the bandages of the deceased Egyptian for protection. The Egyptian scarab was an important image in ancient Egypt; it was a symbol of rebirth and regeneration An extremely rare and collective selection of Egyptian scarabs.
LOT 214 – Ancient Egyptian display case of necklaces and amulets – sold for £2,730.
Late Dynastic Period, C. 664 – 525 B.C. A selection of Egyptian necklaces formed of multiple different types of materials including faience and semi-precious stones as well as amulets including the deity of Tauret, the hippopotamus goddess of motherhood and protection. This case includes some exciting stylised examples of Egyptian amulets with brightly decorated designs.
LOT 216 – An impressive Egyptian display case of necklaces – Sold for £2,730
Late Dynastic Period, C. 664 – 525 B.C. A very impressive selection of Egyptian necklaces formed with different materials, from carnelian, lapis and faience. Jewellery was an important part of the image of an Egyptian. Egypt in 1st millennium BC would have been a bright and colourful place.
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