Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Ptah

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 8.6 cm (3 3/8 in.); W. 2.5 cm (1 in.); D. 2.1 cm (13/16 in.) H. (with tang): 8.8 cm (3 7/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph W. Drexel, 1889
Accession Number:
89.2.523
Not on view
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 mummiform 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. He is richly adorned with a broad collar and bracelets, and he carries a 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.
Donated by Joseph W. Drexel, Philadelphia, 1889.

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