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.

Gillett, Charles R. Rev. 1898. Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in Halls 3 and 4, Metropolitan Museum of Art Handbook, 4. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 195.

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