Apr 23, 2007
Apr 23, 2007

Shawabty of Nectanebo II

Shawabty of Nectanebo II

360–342 BC

Pale turquoise faience

Overall: 19 x 6.1 x 3.8 cm (7 1/2 x 2 3/8 x 1 1/2 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1920.1989


Did you know?

Nectanebo II is the last Egyptian native to be pharaoh. This small statuette has idealized facial features and bears an inscription on the lower half that contains a wish for the afterlife.


This shawabty is inscribed for King Nakjthorheb, or Nectanebo II. The color of the faience is not the brilliant blue of Seti I's or Pinudjem II's shawabtys, but a much lighter turquoise hue with a more matte finish that became popular during Dynasty 25. The shape is mummiform, with a narrow back pillar; the shawabty doubtless had a base, which has broken off with the feet. The face is small and round. Features are carefully detailed. The eyes are narrow and almond shaped, with long, horizontal cosmetic lines. The nose is long and thin, widening toward the end. Circular depressions indicate the nostrils. The cheeks are puffy, bordered on the top by a deep, angular depression that emphasizes their fullness. The ears are large and naturalistically modeled. The mouth is small and has full lips whose upturned corners affect the "archaic" smile characteristic of this period's portrait type. In all, the features compare well with relief images of this king

The divine wig is voluminous and rests low on the forehead. Its finely striated side lappets follow the contour of the face as they descend. A finely plaited divine beard hangs from the chin. A great deal of detail has been included in the rendering of the shawabty's tools. In the left hand he holds a short curved pick for breaking open the earth; in the right, a plow. In addition his right hand grasps the strap handle of a tiny seed bag that hangs at his shoulder in the back. An inscription of eight registers wraps around the lower body.


Funerary Figurines
Egyptian Faience
See also

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