Here we have a lovely bronze statuette of the young god Horus, better known as Harpokrates (Her-pa-khered, Horus the child); his childhood is indicated by the position of his right hand, the index finger held to his mouth, but also by the sidelock of youth and by the fact that he is depicted nude.
A uraeus is depicted on his head cap, and a scarab pendant is shown around his neck. The god is striding in the customary position, with his left foot forward.
There are two tenons projecting from beneath the integral base, intended to attach the statuette to a possibly wooden base. The object comes with a modern wooden base.
The front and proper right side of the integral base carry a hieroglyphic inscription; this is a short prayer to the god for life, giving the name of the person who dedicated the statuette. Most of the inscription is clearly readable, but one or two signs on the front have faded away. The text reads: "O Horus the Child, give life to ... Kaw (or Ihw), to whom Djediuesankh gave birth". The bull with which the inscription on the side starts, can be an independant name or the last part of a name, the beginning of which is lost. The bull can read either Ka or Ih.
For the names Kaw, Ihw or Kames (if it is one of these) see Ranke, I, 338 (Old, Middle and New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period); the name of the mother is not in Ranke, but the grammatical counterpart for a man is: ibid, I, 409.
Bronze statues with a dedicatory inscription are highly sought after!
Jacques F. Aubert – Liliane Aubert, Bronzes et or Egyptien (Paris, 2001), p. 239-249;
Hermann Ranke, Die ägyptischen Personennamen (3 volumes, Glückstadt - Hamburg, 1935-1976), Volume I, p. 338 and 409.
For the god being naked, the finger to the mouth and the lock of youth see Sandra Sandri, Har-pa-chered (Harpokrates): die Genese eines ägyptischen Götterkindes (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 151) (Leuven, Peeters, 2006), p. 97 – 100.
For the cap with uraeus as an attribute of the god, and the preference for this on depictions from Mendes see ibid., p. 104 – 106.
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
Height 13.2 cm without the wooden base but including the tenons, 12 cm without; overall height when put on the wooden base 15.8 cm; length of integral base 5.5 cm; width 2.5 cm
Private Dutch collection W.F., bought at Christie's New York, 18 December 1996, lot 71.