- Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
- 664–30 B.C.
- From Egypt
- Cupreous metal
- H. 17.4 cm (6 7/8 in.); W. 4.7 cm (1 7/8 in.); D. 4.8 cm (1 7/8 in.)
H. (with tang): 19.2 cm (7 9/16 in.)
- Credit Line:
- Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
- Accession Number:
This statuette depicts Ptah, the chief god of Egypt's capital city Memphis and master craftsman of the gods. He is easy to identify by his tight-fitting cap, straight beard (different from the usual curved divine beard on other gods), and enveloping garment. The garment has a stiff upper edge along the back of the neck, a feature that occurs with some regularity also on Osiris statuettes, but its meaning is unclear. A shallowly carved oval area on his chest brings his hands and scepter into sharper relief, and may be intended to represent slits in the cloak itself. Commonly Ptah holds a scepter that combines the symbols for life (ankh), dominion (was), and stability (djed), but here he holds only the was scepter. Ptah was a benevolent and approachable god, characteristics that may have inspired his devotees to dedicate numerous representations of him in the Late and Ptolemaic Periods.