Egyptian Turquoise Faience Shabti Overseer


An unusual and rare example of an Egyptian turquoise faience statuette of a shabti overseer. The figure is seen wearing the characteristic kilted skirt with his right arm clenched at his side. His left arm is bent and sits just above the waist. He holds in his left hand a whip, indicated by deep, rich black pigment. His short wig has also been glazed in black pigment and there is a crude inscription applied to his kilt. The inscription transliterates as ‘wsir di’, meaning ‘Osiris gives’. It is common for shabtis of this period to not include a lot of text, usually only giving the deceased’s name. The reverse of the shabti is flattened and plain.

Date: Circa 1069 – 664 BC
Period: Third Intermediate Period
Provenance: Ex Alison Barker (Deceased) collection.
Condition: Excellent condition with vivid pigment.


SKU: AH-946 Category: Tags: , , ,

Shabtis (or Ushabtis) were figurines in mummified form, which were placed in Egyptian tombs to perform any manual labour required by the deceased in the afterlife. This particular statuette is a Shabtis Overseer, responsible for coordinating the work of other ushabtis.  During the Third Intermediate Period, the number of shabtis allocated to an individual increased substantially. A total of 401 shabtis were often included; 365 ‘worker’ shabtis and 36 ‘overseer’ types, with ten workers assigned to each overseer. With an increase in demand, shabtis became smaller in size and less defined. The figurines were mould-made with highlighted accents in black pigment and the backs were usually trimmed flat.

To find out more about Egyptian Shabtis please see our relevant blog post: How Ancient Egyptian Shabtis and Funerary Statuettes Watched over the Dead. 


Weight 19.2 g
Dimensions L 8.1 cm




Reference: For Similar: The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item