Egyptian Wooden Servant Figurine


A fine Egyptian servant figurine carved from wood in a crouching position with his knees bent upwards from the Middle Kingdom period. Unfortunately, both arms are now missing, the figurine may have been preparing food or rowing a boat, typical stances that were believed to have aided the deceased in the afterlife. The figure retains an impressive amount of red pigment along with white colouring outlining the kilt, a black cropped wig and pigmentation detailing the eyes. A carved hole to the base with a tenon suggests the piece was an attachment to a larger model group.

Date: Circa 2000 - 1800 BC
Period: Middle Kingdom
Condition: Fine condition; both arms now missing, surfaces features wear and cracks.


Wooden tomb models were an Egyptian funerary custom throughout the Middle Kingdom Period, which saw wooden figurines and sets constructed to be placed in the tombs of Egyptian royalty. The wooden models reflected a variety of tasks and chores which servants would be expected to carry out in the afterlife, and accordingly, many are depicted as performing a certain task. A chapter from Osiris’ Book of the Dead highlights the continued significance of servitude after death: “when you are counted upon at any time to serve there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to ferry the sand of the west to the east and vice–versa, “here I am” you shall say.“. During the New Kingdom and into the Late Period (747–332 BC), the wooden models were replaced or developed into the Shabti form.

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

Weight 76.5 g
Dimensions W 4.7 x H 17.7 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item 1907,0511.106

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