Lot 642: Egyptian Gold Panel with Maat before Isis
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Late Period, 664-332 BC. A rectangular gold repoussé plaque with seated goddess Isis holding a staff-sceptre, wearing vulture and sun disc crown, kneeling figure of Maat with wings extended, hieroglyphs in three columns above 0.66 grams, 39mm (1 1/2"). From a private UK collection; formerly in a Munich collection formed in the 1970s. Repoussé plaques such as these would have been placed amongst the wrappings of a mummy to ensure that it was protected against the malevolent powers that could hinder the soul reaching the afterlife, and the resurrection of the body. Maat was the goddess personifying all the elements of cosmic harmony by the creator god at the beginning of time, including truth, justice and moral integrity. She is shown as a lady wearing an ostrich feather as a crown and often has wings that are spread protectively. Maat was crucial in helping the deceased reaching paradise and it is she who presides over the judgement of the dead, along with Osiris, Thoth and Anubis. In the Hall of the Two Truths, the dead person's heart is placed in a pair of scales to balance against the feather of Maat. Should the heart be lighter than the feather then the deceased can enter paradise. But if the heart is heavier than the feather, the deceased is condemned to an eternal death in the jaws of the creature called Ammit. Isis also had an important role for the deceased, being the protector of the dead and the goddess who leads the soul to paradise.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.