An Egyptian fragmentary Demotic papyrus recording a loan agreement

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Lot 201*
An Egyptian fragmentary Demotic papyrus recording a loan agreement

Sold for £ 8,750 (US$ 11,002) inc. premium

Antiquities

28 Nov 2018, 10:30 GMT

London, New Bond Street

An Egyptian fragmentary Demotic papyrus recording a loan agreement
Ptolemaic Period, dated to 21 November 108 B.C.
Composed of six fragments of an almost complete loan agreement, dated to year 10 of the reign of Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX, between Nesnayw-Khemeniw, son of Amenhotep, and a woman by the name of Tashert-Djehuty(?), concerning money and grain, the scribe named as Khonsu-Tayef-Nakht, son of Horsiese, from Djeme, with the names of 16 witnesses written on the back, the largest fragment 19.5cm x 12.3cm

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) collection, Wiltshire; and thence by descent.
    An Early 19th Century Collection of Egyptian Papyri; Christie's, London, 28 April 2009, lot 148.
    Private collection.

    Published:
    B. P. Muhs, 'A Loan Contract in Chicago from the Archive of the Theban Choachytes (Second Century BCE)', in R. K. Ritner (ed.), Essays for the Library of Seshat; Studies presented to Janet H. Johnson on the occasion of her 70th Birthday, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilisation no. 70, Chicago, 2017, pp.217-220 (for full transliteration and translation).


    William Henry Talbot (1800-1877) is best known as the inventor of the calotype or talbotype process, a precursor to photography. As noted by Muhs, Talbot was a 'prodigious correspondent', and his papers are preserved at his family home of Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire. Muhs suggests that a letter dated 26 July 1827 from Jules de St Quintin (the conservator of Turin Museum) may refer to the present lot; the conservator wrote 'Je vous engageais hier à dérouler votre précieux papirus démotique sur le Silver paper; je crains maintenant de vous avoir mal conseillé. Il me parait d'avoir apperçu dans l'essais que nous avons déjà fait que la trâsparence n'est pas parfaite...' (Yesterday, I encouraged you to unroll your precious demotic papyrus on Silver paper; I am now afraid that I gave you bad advice. I seem to have noticed that the transparency is not perfect in the trial which we have already carried out...). As the present lot is the only known complete Demotic papyrus from Talbot's collection, the connection seems highly plausible, suggesting in turn that Talbot acquired the papyrus prior to July 1827.
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An Egyptian fragmentary Demotic papyrus recording a loan agreement
An Egyptian fragmentary Demotic papyrus recording a loan agreement
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