Description: New Kingdom, 1550-1066 BC. A wooden shabti of the High Steward Makre-Amen, with mummiform body, wearing a tripartite wig with lappets; hands crossed over chest holding a pair of hoes, to the back a pair of water pots over each shoulder, seed basket between; horizontal columns of hieroglyphs to the body with Chapter Six of the Book of the Dead: 'O shabti figure, If Makre-Amen is called up to do any work that is done there in the underworld then the markers are struck for him there. As for a man for his (work service) duty be counted yourself at any time that might be done to cultivate the marsh, to irrigate the riverbank fields to ferry sand to west or east, 'I am doing it, see, Here am I, you are to say'; Egyptologist Peter Clayton writes: 'The wooden shabti is very good, nice text of Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, and also large'. 195 grams, 24.5cm (9 1/2"). From the Meyer family collection, France; acquired by the current owner's father in 1991 from Thierry Lux, who inherited them from his father Joseph Claer; accompanied by a copy of a Joseph Claer biography, the current collection notes, and the original French passport number 147880, dated 9 August 2013. Joseph Claer (born 9/5/1859) lived and worked in Dornach, Switzerland, in the family painting and decorating business. Claer was responsible for the decoration of many of the churches of the upper Rhine area badly damaged during World War I. He was a prolific collector of antiquities and curiosities from around the world and created an important collection which remained largely intact after his death in 1929, with only a small number ending up in museums. This collection consists mainly of wooden and metal statuettes, approximately two hundred stained glass windows, numerous paintings, sketches, engravings, antique fireplaces and furniture. The shabti spell gave the instructions intended for the figurines as they went about their duties on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife. The spell is taken from Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, the earliest version of which appeared in the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom, - Spell for making a shabti work in the Gods Land. It was inscribed on the shabtis with certain variations depending on which time they were made. Sometimes the complete spell was used, or certain clauses were omitted. The afterlife was seen as a mirror image of life on earth, and therefore the deceased was expected to work; it is for this reason that shabti figures were developed to carry out the work on behalf of the deceased. The word shabti means 'to answer' as it was expected that the figure would magically come to life when asked to carry out labour in the afterlife. The high steward was an important official at the royal court during the Middle and New Kingdom. He was the main person in charge of the estates supplying the palace and the royal residence with food. After the vizier and the treasurer, this was the most important office at the royal court. The position allowed access to the royal family and the privileged life and the benefits that came with working in the palace, such as the preparation of a costly tomb and furnishings, like this Shabti. [A video of this item is available to view on TimeLine Auctions website.]
Condition Report: Very fine condition.
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