Egyptian stele of
Senebef & Ipta
Height - 43.5 cm / 17-1/8 inches
Width - 33.5 cm / 13-1/4 inches
Depth - 3/5 cm - 1-3/8 inches
On offer here is a rare and unusual shrine stele replica of 12th dynasty middle kingdom design. (1800 B.C.E)
This highly detailed piece features a large openwork ankh symbol in the center which signifies life. The openwork design of the stele suggests it may have had an intended use as a window shrine to allow light and airflow into a home. The original artifact was found in the ruined city of Abydos.
The sacred city of Abydos was the burial place of Osiris, the god of the afterlife and every Egyptian wanted to be with him in the next world. Even if individuals were buried in their home town, they could still garner extra favour and guidance from Osiris by setting up a shrine or a stele in Abydos such as this example.
In the case of a certain Senebef and Ipta - the original owners of this family stele, it could be positioned in Abydos on their behalf to take part in the abundance of offerings that poured into the city in homage to Osiris.
Projecting into the future, other pilgrims passing by and seeing this stele would keep it relevant and active if they could read out the names and read the inscriptions to trigger a symbolic offering.
Another interesting aspect of this piece is the presence of three figures carved into the stele with the names of the family members inscribed into them. The figures can almost be classified as mummiform ushabti figures, save for the fact they are attached to the stele. They are notable because of the middle kingdom date when ushabti figures were a new addition to Egyptian art thus making them among the earliest forms of this most famous Egyptian statue style.
Made of a limestone and quartzite composition stone it has an aged patina with highlights of flesh tones on the figures and subtle blue on the ankh symbol. A sturdy wire loop can be seen in the rear view photgraph which will allow for a wall feature display option using angled nails or hooks.
A truly stunning piece with so much to look at. From the bold ankh and recessed figures to the hieroglyphs and chisel marks it will be a great feature addition to your collection.
1-3 business days
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