A Faience Ushebti with Hieroglyph Formula


An ancient Egyptian turquoise glazed faience shabti of mummified form, standing on a plinth. He is depicted wearing the triparte wig and false beard commonly seen. The hands protrude from the chest, depicted as though mummified in a shroud. His hands clasp a hoe and a pick, and there is a basket to the back. A vertical band of hieroglyphs runs down the central body.

The hieroglyph formula transliterates as :

Sḥḏ – wsir – 3st – m- [?-?] – m3’

The illuminated one, Osiris, Isetem[?-?], the justified.

Unfortunately, the last few symbols naming the deceased are hard to distinguish to give a perfect transliteration.

Date: Circa 570-525 BC
Period: Late Period, 26th Dynasty
Provenance: From the collection of Trevor James Brown, who photographed various Egyptian tombs in 1919 and was given permission to do so by the Egyptian Board of Antiquities. Photos are for reference only and were not included with the shabti.
Condition: Excellent


SKU: AH-624 Category: Tags: , ,

Faience shabtis carrying a hoe and pick, with the addition of the basket, were popular in the Late period. They were labelled ‘ushebtis’, which translates as ‘answerer’. The shabti formula, which in this case only gives the Osiris name and the title of the deceased, was meant to provide instructions for the statuette in the afterlife. The shabti would thus perform duties on behalf of the deceased as instructed.

To discover more about the writing system of hieroglyphs, please visit our relavent blog post: Hieroglyphs: An Introduction to the Ancient Egyptian Writing System.

Weight 67.5 g
Dimensions H 11.2 cm



Reference: For similar, see The Metropolitan Museum, New York, Item 30.8.187