Ancient Egyptian Turquoise Faience Ushabti for Pa-di-pep

£ 2,750.00

An Egyptian turquoise glazed, faience shabti with hieroglyphs to the reverse. The figure is depicted in typical form wearing a lappet-wig, framing a modelled face with a beard. Parallel hands, resting beneath the chest, hold an adze, a hoe and the string of the seed-basket that hangs over the shoulder. The front of the shabti is undecorated, but the back-pillar is inscribed with two columns of hieroglyphs. The inscription is as follows:

̉I wsbtỉ (ỉ)pn ỉr nḏ tw Wsỉr Pꜣ-dỉ-pp (Right column, top to bottom)

msn Bꜣstt-ỉỉr-dỉ-st mk (wỉ) kꜣ.k (Left column, top to bottom)

This translates as:

O, this ushebti, if the Osiris, Pa-di-pep

Born to Bastet-ir-dis, is called upon ‘here (I am)’ you shall say.

Measurements given include the stand.

Date: Circa 664-595 BC
Period: Late Period, late 26th Dynasty
Provenance: Provenance: Bodo Bleß (1940-2022) collection, Berlin, both acquired in July 1962 from Gallery 85 (as recorded in Mr Bleß's photo album). Acquired from Bonhams Auctions, 2023. The tomb of Pa-di-pep was located in Saqqara, discovered west of the Pyramid of Teti in 1893.
Condition: Excellent. Some loss of glaze and abrassions to left arm. Mounted on a custom-made black wooden stand, underlined with green felt.
Product Code: ES-167
Category: Tags: , ,

Shabtis  or ushabtis are among the most numerous of all Egyptian antiquities, as they played a major role in funeral rites. Indeed, they were intended to act as servants for the deceased and to perform any manual labour for their master in the afterlife. For this to be possible, it was necessary that each shabti present in the grave had the name of their master inscribed on it and also a summoning spell to which they replied. In fact, shabti – or ushabti – translates as “the answerer”. Such figurines could also be inscribed with passages from the Book of the Dead, the intention of which was to secure safety for the deceased in the afterlife.

Based on the hieroglyph inscription and stylistic features of the shabti, this particular figurine belongs to the same owner as shabtis owned by the British Museum, Cairo and Chicago Museum, to name but a few. Pa-di-pep’s tomb was found at Saqqara, located west of the Pyramid of Teti, discovered in 1893. His shabti’s were sold to tourists after its opening and thus many can be found around the world. Pa-di-pep translates as ‘He who was given from the god Pep’ and belongs to the ‘theophorous’ names category. The individual, as a gift of a god: pA/tA-di-X, i.e. He/She whom god X has given. The god’s name was interchangeable, sometimes Osiris as Pa-di-Usr, Isis as Pa-di-3st and our own example. Such naming was common from the New Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period.

Dimensions W 4.1 x H 16.3 cm

Turquoise Faience


North Africa

Reference: For similar: The British Museum, London, item EA53984

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