Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head from a Statue with Magical Texts

Late Period
Dynasty 30
probably reign of Nectanebo II
probably 360–343 B.C.
From Egypt
H. 21.2 cm (8 3/8 in.); W. 14.5 cm (5 11/16 in.); D. 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 128
Magical texts like those on the Metternich stela (50.85) probably covered all but the face, feet, and hands of the statue to which this fragment belonged. The statue would have stood in a temple where it could be visited by persons wishing to be healed. Inscribed statues of this type can almost all be dated to the fourth century.

A man well-advanced in years is depicted, his skin soft and marked by fine creases but his small eyes and his wide mouth still sure. Realistic representations are known from late Dynasty 26 and probably continued to be made during the Persian Period, although little can be assigned to that interval with certainty; thereafter they knew continuous popularity from the fourth century until the end of the Ptolemaic Period.
Collection of Norbert Schimmel; acquired by him at Sotheby's New York February 1985; previously collection of Pauline Nadler, New York, acquired by her at auction in Berlin in the late 1920s. Donated to the Museum by the Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989. Published in the MMA Bulletin Spring 1992 and frequently.

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