Kneeling statuette of King Amasis, Bronze, precious metal inlay and leaf

Kneeling statuette of King Amasis

Late Period, Saite
Dynasty 26
reign of Amasis
570–526 B.C.
From Egypt
Bronze, precious metal inlay and leaf
h. 11 cm (4 5/16 in); w. 4.8 cm (1 7/8 in); d. 6 cm (2 3/8 in)
Credit Line:
Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1935
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 127
The childlike appearance of this kneeling statuette, with its large head, beautiful features, plump body, and short legs, is characteristic of some metal royal statues made during the Late Period, when the king was associated with juvenile gods such as Horus, son of Isis. This work, like the stone statuary from the reign of Amasis, testifies to the high level of artistry attained during his rule.

The figure is solid-the body, limbs, and attributes were all integrally cast. Precious-metal leaf once covered the king's nemes; additional embellishment was provided by inlaid inscriptions on the kilt flap and the belt in the back, in each case spelling out a different name of King Amasis. The inscriptions were executed at different times in the life of the statue, an earlier inscription on the back planned from the beginning, and a secondary inscription on the front of the kilt. No clear motive for adding a replacement inscription to an otherwise complete figure has thus far been recognized. Both forearms were damaged in antiquity, probably when the figure was wrenched from its base.
Donated to the Museum by Edward S. Harkness, 1935.

Hill, Marsha 2002. "A Bronze Aegis of King Amasis in the Egyptian Museum: Bronzes, Unconventionality and Unexpected Connections." In Egyptian Museum Collections Around the World, p. 549 fn 14.

Hill, Marsha 2004. Royal Bronze Statuary from Ancient Egypt with Special Attention to the Kneeling Pose. Leiden: Brill, cat. 31 and LPPt-15, pl. 60; pp. 75-117 passim, 166.

Hill, Marsha and Deborah Schorsch 2005. "The Gulbenkian Torso of King Pedubaste: Investigations into Egyptian Large Bronze Statuary." In Metropolitan Museum Journal, 40, c.f. p. 191, n.83.

Hill, Marsha 2007. "Casting About: The Late Period (664–332 B.C.) and the Macedonian-Ptolemaic Period (332–30 B.C.)." In Gifts for the Gods: Images from Egyptian Temples, edited by Marsha Hill and Deborah Schorsch. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 120–21, fig. 55, no. 47.

Schorsch, Deborah 2014. Archaeometallurgy in Global Perspective: Methods and Syntheses. New York: Springer Publishing Company, p. 280, fig. 12.5.

Jansen-Winkeln, Karl 2014. Inschriften der Spätzeit, Teil IV: Die 26. Dynastie, 2 vols.. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 467-468.