Back to browse highlights

Ritual Statuette of Thutmose III

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
reign of Thutmose III
ca. 1479–1425 B.C.
From Egypt
Black bronze, gold inlay
h. 13.1 cm (5 1/8 in) [16.2 cm (6 3/8 in) with tang]; w. 6.0 cm (2 3/8 in); d. 7.6 cm (3 in)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edith Perry Chapman Fund and Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation Inc. Gift, 1995
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Beautifully poised, this small bronze king offers wine or milk to a god. The fluid, athletic modeling of his body and details of his costume indicate a date in mid–Dynasty 18. In fact, the statuette represents the great king Tuthmosis III, as is revealed by traces of his prenomen (or throne name), Menkheperre, on the belt buckle.
    This figure is the earliest known New Kingdom royal bronze statuette and, with a few Late Middle Kingdom copper and copper-alloy precursors, it initiates the tradition of bronze statuary in Egypt. It is a "black" bronze, darkened to heighten the luster of its precious metal inlays. The left eye rim and the nipples retain their original gold inlay. The body of the statuette was solid cast, with separately cast arms (one is missing) fitted onto dowels.
    Kneeling bronze kings dating to the New Kingdom are rare. They are found in greater numbers in the Third Intermediate and Late Periods. Such figurines are frequently represented on the great processional barks of the gods, expressing the respectful yet dignified role of the king—himself a god—in ensuring the continuing worship of the gods.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: name on belt

  • Provenance

    British Rail Pension Fund Collection from 1979; acquired by the Museum in 1995. Published BMMA fall 1995 and repeatedly, continuously exhibited.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History