Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Standing Statue of Merti with flaring wig

Period:
Old Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 5
Reign:
reign of Isesi–Unis
Date:
ca. 2381–2323 B.C. probably
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Saqqara, Tomb of Merti, Egyptian Antiquities Service excavations
Medium:
Acacia, paint, Gesso
Dimensions:
58 1/4 in. (148 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1926
Accession Number:
26.2.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
Merti was a high official and provincial governor. Eleven exceptionally large wooden statues were found in the serdab (statue chamber) of his tomb. Five are in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (26.2.2 - 26.2.6); five, including two wooden scribes, are in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo; and one is in the Medlhavsmuseet, Stockholm.
Most of these statues represent Merti in various aspects of his life and career, denoted by changes in wigs and garments. Surprisingly, three statues of women were also present, each in a different wig.
This statue shows Merti in a flaring wig pushed behind his ears and a short kilt. His original wooden stick and baton, indicatiors of rank, are preserved.
#3260. Standing Statue of Merti with flaring wig
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Excavated by the Egyptian Antiquities Service at Saqqara. Purchased by the Museum from the Egyptian Government, 1926.

Pijoán, José 1950. Summa Artis: Historia general del arte, Vol. III. 1950. Madrid, 164, fig. 215.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 110-112, fig. 64.

Hibbard, Howard 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, 36, fig. 57.

Dorman, Peter F., Prudence Harper, and Holly Pittman 1987. Egypt and the Ancient Near East in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 18-19.

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