The 'Dattari' Baboon

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The 'Dattari' Baboon

1200-1100 B.C.



This is most likely a representation of the Ancient Egyptian god Thoth, who was a lunar deity and the protector of writers, accountants and all things intellectual, and appears usually in baboon form although he was also associated with the Ibis bird.[1] His images sometimes combine these animal features with those of a human, however here he appears as the baboon fully incarnate.

The original intention of this statue is unknown, however it most probably provided apotropaic qualities to owner, offering protection in their everyday life. The image of Thoth has been found on grave markers, wall carvings, papyrus scrolls and in statue form as seen here. Examples have been found in funerary contexts along with mummified baboons suggesting that he was intended to accompany the deceased in to the afterlife.[2]

[1] L.P. Brock;  ‪Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century: Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Egyptologists, Cairo, 2000, Volume 2, ‪American University in Cairo Press, 2003, p.505.

[2] S. Ikram; Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt, American University in Cairo Press, 2005, p.144.


Entdeckungen, Ägyptische Kunst in Süddeutschland, Galerie der Bayerischen Landesbank, Munich, 30-6 October 1985, no. 61.
Gott und Götter im Alten Ägypten: Sammlung Resandro, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 1992; Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst München, 1992-1993; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, 1993, no. 7.


Jean P. Lambros Athenes & Giovanni Dattari, Le Caire Hotel Drouot, 17-19 June 1912, Lot 304, Pl. 30.
M. H. Sevadjian Collection, Hotel Drouot, 1314 April 1932. Lot 2, pl.1
The Ernest Brummer Collection, Volume II, Spink & Son and Galerie Koller, Zurich, 16-19 October 1979, No. 517.
Sylvia Schoske and Dietrich Wildung, Entdeckungen, Ägyptische Kunst in Süddeutschland, Galerie der Bayerischen Landesbank, Munich, 30-6 October 1985, no. 61, pp. 80, 82.
Sylvia Schoske and Dietrich Wildung‚ Gott und Götter im Alten Ägypten: Sammlung Resandro, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 1992; Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst München, 1992-1993; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, 1993, no. 7, p. 18.
I. Grimm-Stadelmann (ed.), Aesthetic Glimpses, Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection (Munich, 2012), no. R-64, p. 73.
David Aaron Ltd, 2023, No. 6.


With Giovanni Datteri, Cairo, from at least 1912.
With Mihran H. Sevadjian (b.1884), Paris, until 1932.
Private Collection of Mr William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), New York and California, from 1932-1940.
With Ernest Brummer (1891-1964), New York, purchased 27th August 1940.
The Resandro Collection, Germany.
New York Art Market, 2018.
Private Collection of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani (inventory number BELC1037) acquired from the above 25th August 2018.
ALR: S00218906, with IADAA Certificate, this item has been checked against the Interpol database.

Note on the Provenance

Giovanni Dattari (1853-1923) was an Italian mint and antique dealer and numismatist. After the death of his father Dattari's family moved to Cairo, Egypt in 1875. Between 1891 and 1903, Dattari collected a coin collection of over 25,000 ancient coins. In 1920 Dattari donated large parts of his collection to the Museo Nazionale Romano. After his death, the remainder of the collection went on sale. Dattari was married and had two children. His studio in Cairo, located in the villa where the Dattari family lived, was a meeting place for archaeologists, Egyptologists and numismatists from all over the world. Giovanni Dattari collaborated in the formation of the Alexandrian coin collections of the Oxford, Ann Arbor and Toronto museums.

Works of Egyptian sculpture from the 1912 Dattari sale now in public collections include the “Dattari Statue,” a 30th-Dynasty black diorite figure of man in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, inv. no. 52.89 (lot no. 291, pls. XXVII-XXVIII; B.v. Bothmer, Egyptian Sculpture of the Late Period, Brooklyn, 1960, no. 80), a Late Period grey-green schist bust of a man in the Walters Art Museum, inv. 22.398 (lot no. 293, pl. XXXII; Bothmer, op. cit., no. 18), and a 30th-Dynasty basalt head of a woman in the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum, inv. no. 5888 (lot no. 306, pl. XXXII; A. Eggebrecht, ed., Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim. Die ägyptische Sammlung, 1993, p. 89, fig. 86).

William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) Mr. Hearst was born on April 29, 1863, in San Francisco, California, as the only child of George and Phoebe Hearst. His father, a wealthy man as a result of relentless work and creativity in his various mining interests, allowed young William the opportunity to see and experience the world as few do.

In 1903, Mr. Hearst married Millicent Willson in New York City. The couple had five sons together during their marriage: George, William Randolph Jr., John and twins Randolph and David.

Their honeymoon drive across the European continent inspired Mr. Hearst to launch his first magazine, Motor. Motor became the foundation for another publishing endeavour that is still known as Hearst Magazines.

Hearst’s interest in politics led him to election to the United States House of Representatives as a Congressman from New York in 1902. After re-election in 1904, he unsuccessfully pursued the New York Governorship in 1906.

In the 1920s he started one of the first print-media companies to enter radio broadcasting. Mr. Hearst was a major producer of movie newsreels with his company Hearst Metrotone News, and is widely credited with creating the comic strip syndication business. His King Features Syndicate today is the largest distributor of comics and text features in the world. In his career, William Hearst produced over 100 films including, “The Perils of Pauline,” “The Exploits of Elaine” and “The Mysteries of Myra.” In the 1940s he was an early pioneer of television.

In addition to his brilliant business endeavours, Mr. Hearst amassed a vast and impressive art collection that included American and European Old Master paintings and sculptures, tapestries, oriental rugs, Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities, silver, furniture and historic ceilings. As the inventory grew, he purchased a five-story warehouse in the Bronx for storage and he formed the International Studio Arts Corporation (ISAC) as a wholly owned subsidiary of his holdings. Hearst began selling some of his art collection in the mid 30’s to help relieve the debt burden he had suffered from the great Depression.

It is believed that the Orson Wells film Citizen Kane (1941) is loosely based on Hearst. He was enraged at the idea of Citizen Kane being a thinly disguised and very unflattering portrait of him, used his massive influence and resources to prevent the film from being released—all without even having seen it. Welles and the studio RKO Pictures resisted the pressure but Hearst and his Hollywood friends ultimately succeeded in pressuring theatre chains to limit showings of Citizen Kane, resulting in only moderate box-office numbers and seriously impairing Welles's career prospects.

Born in former Yugoslavia, Ernest Brummer (1891–1964) moved to Paris to study art history at Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre, where he studied with Salomon Reinach, who had recently been appointed director of the Musée des Antiquités Nationales. Later, with his brothers, Joseph (1883–1947) and Imre (1895–1928) he opened an antiquities shop.

Ernest remained in Paris after Joseph and Imre left for the United States in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War. The gallery would remain at 3, boulevard Raspail until the early 1920s, when Ernest would relocate it to 36, rue de Miromesnil, after Ernest and Joseph had a falling out. After the war, Joseph opened a second shop at 203 bis, boulevard Saint Germain. The brothers were reconciled by 1924 and participated in a transatlantic partnership until Joseph's death in 1947. After joining the business in Paris, Ernest travelled extensively throughout Europe to acquire works of art for the gallery. The Brummers dealt initially in African tribal arts before branching out into ancient, medieval, contemporary French, and pre-Columbian art.