Here we have a very nice little shabti, dating to the 21st dynasty. As many shabtis from that period, it is rather crudely made. And yet it has a few extras which make it a very interesting object.
It is made of baked clay and not of faience, which gives the statuette a lovely warm, yellowish brown colour; hieroglyphs, implements, eyes and wig are added in black. The text has been added in a beautiful handwriting.
And above all: while pressing the clay into its mold and flattening it, the ancient Egyptian artist has left his fingerprints on the shabti. Because of this it almost feels as if one can be in direct contact with the maker, although he lived 3,000 years ago. Of course, with every ancient object that you touch you know that long ago the maker also held it in his hands, but normally there are no traces of this. In this case you can see the prints, giving you the idea that you can almost touch the maker, right across the ages.
The text on the statuette informs us that it was made for "The Osiris, the Lady of the House, the Chantress of Amun, Djedmut justified".
Galerie Günter Puhze, Catalogue 20, 2006, nr. 192; www.shabticollections.com, no. SC 119 (where the words "the illuminated" are also given in the translation, but these are not on the shabti).
21st dynasty, circa 1070-945 B.C.
Height 10.5 cm.
Private Dutch collection, acquired from Galerie Günter Puhze.
Intact with some small cracks that are normal for clay objects, as visible on the photographs; a small hole near the proper right elbow that appears to be ancient; given the fragility of the material the shabti is in a remarkably good condition.