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Kneeling Statuette of Pepy I

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
This statuette depicts King Pepy I kneeling and offering nu-pots, ritual vessels that held milk or wine. A king would kneel only before a god, so this statuette must have been placed before the statue of a deity in a temple. Inlaid eyes of black and white stone set in copper rims enhance the finely carved figure. The hole above Pepy’s forehead originally held a uraeus-cobra, probably metal, signifying royalty.
MEDIUM Greywacke, Egyptian alabaster (calcite), obsidian, copper
  • Possible Place Collected: Upper Egypt, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2338–2298 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 6
    PERIOD Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 6 x 1 13/16 x 3 9/16 in. (15.2 x 4.6 x 9 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS “Pepi, son of Hathor, Lady of Dendera, given life and power, Mry-Re..."
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented; before 1880, possibly purchased near Akmim, Egypt by Elie or Michel Abemayor of Cairo, Egypt; before 1890, reportedly purchased from Elie or Michel Abemayor by Jacques Matossian of Alexandria, Egypt; by 1939, acquired by Marguerite and Paul Mallon of Paris, France and New York, NY; 1939, purchased from Marguerite and Paul Mallon by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small green slate kneeling figure of Mr-y-Rc (Pepy I) holding a wine pot in each hand; eyes inlaid, copper rims, alabaster whites, obsidian pupils. Inscription along front of base (partly missing) and along left side. Condition: Upper right side of headdress chipped; right arm assembled from several fragments but practically intact; right hand broken and portion of wine pot missing; rim of left wine pot slightly chipped; left front of plinth missing, right rear of plinth chipped. Uraeus presumably of metal missing but two holes or insertion remain.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Kneeling Statuette of Pepy I, ca. 2338–2298 B.C.E. Greywacke, Egyptian alabaster (calcite), obsidian, copper, 6 x 1 13/16 x 3 9/16 in. (15.2 x 4.6 x 9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 39.121. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 39.121_front_PS6.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 39.121_front_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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