Selection of Egyptian Faience Shabtis

A selection of two Egyptian shabtis in blue faience from the Late Dynastic period. Each featuring lappets wigs with artificial beards, facial features have been rendered naturalistically however they have faded over time. The arms are crossed and are holding hoes in each hand. The reverses are unadorned, earthly encrustation is visible to the surface.


Date: Circa 664-332BC
Period: Late Dynastic period
Provenance: Early 20th Century Collection, acquired legally and ethically on the art market.
Condition: Fine condition. Slight chip to item A's nose.
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Clear selection

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SKU: LD-308 Category: Tags: ,

Shabti production during the late Dynastic period diversified, with the production of bi-chrome shabtis from the 30th Dynasty onwards. Such figurines are defined by a thicker glaze compared to previous shabtis.

The term ‘ushabti’, rather than shabti, was used from the 21st Dynasty onwards due to a change in function for the statuettes. They were to be known as ‘answerers’, expecting to answer the call of their master. Shabtis (and Ushabtis) were figurines in mummified form, which were placed in Egyptian tombs to perform any manual labour required by the deceased in the afterlife.  In the most elaborate Egyptian tombs, there were thirty-six overseer figures and 365 worker dolls.

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

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Reference: For a similar item,The British Museum, item 1914,0512.2

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