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Anonymous Shabty

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

A shabty was supposed to take the place of its owner whenever heavy labor was required in the afterlife. This finely detailed example carries two hand hoes, two baskets, and a yoke. It is unusual for so fine a shabty to lack the owner’s name, which bound it in eternal service to the individual. There are traces of paint on the eyes and eyebrows; perhaps the name was also painted. The damage at the bottom of the chin, apparently caused by the removal of a beard, suggests that this shabty was originally made for a man and later reworked for a woman.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1400–1390 or ca. 1390–1352 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 9 13/16 x 3 1/8 in. (25 x 7.9 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Uninscribed limestone schwabti wearing a lappet wig. The figure is in mummiform and the hands are crossed opposite. In the right hand it holds a hoe and a seed basket. In the left hand it holds a mattock and a seed basket. Across the chest is a yoke. The ears are pierced and there are traces of black paint on the eyes and eyebrows. A circular chip under the chin indicates that it had a beard which may have been broken off or may have been removed to make it a woman's schwabti. Condition: good. Chip under the chin, chip on right front of the base.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Anonymous Shabty, ca. 1400–1390 or ca. 1390–1352 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 9 13/16 x 3 1/8 in. (25 x 7.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.121E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.121E_erg456.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.37.121E_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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