A large Egyptian sandstone relief
Lot 75
A large Egyptian sandstone relief
Sold for £48,000 (US$ 78,729) inc. premium

Lot Details
A large Egyptian sandstone relief
Ptolemaic, circa 332-30 B.C.
Carved in raised relief with two full length goddesses, each holding a lily sceptre in the left hand and an anhk hanging down in the right, with the left leg advanced, wearing close fitting tunics with broad collars, with their left breast delineated and slightly swollen stomachs, the figure on the right, probably the goddess Hatmehyt, wearing a tripartite wig with a fish-tail extension at the back, the figure on the left wearing a high crown, part missing, the remains of another figure in front also holding an ankh, with some red and black pigment remaining, 28 x 29in (71 x 74cm), repaired with some restoration, mounted

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Property of a lady, acquired at Christie's in 2001.

    Published:
    Christie's South Kensington, Antiquities, Wednesday 7 November, lot 420.

    Literature:
    For a small similarly styled Ptolemaic plaque of a goddess in the British Museum, cf. S.Walker & P.Higgs, Cleopatra of Egypt; from History to Myth, (British Museum, London, 2001), p.68, fig.46. It is probable that the goddess on the right of this panel is Hatmehyt, the fish-goddess from Mendes in the Delta region. Images of this fish-goddess are quite rare and in later times her position as the pre-eminent deity of the region was usurped by Banebdjedet, the ram-goddess. Her name can be literally translated as "she who is in front of the fishes" or "Foremost of the fish". She was sometimes depicted as a fish (either a dolphin or a lepidotus fish) or a woman with a "Fish" emblem on her head, as in this example.
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