Ushabti for Imenmes 

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Ushabti for Imenmes 

19th Dynasty, 1290-1279 B.C., New Kingdom
Egypt
Faience,
H: 13.8 cm 
 

£18,000

Description

A mummiform ushabti in blue faience. Four registers of hieroglyphic characters are painted around the lower half of the ushabti, with a vertical column of hieroglyphs in the centre of the back. The inscription dedicates the ushabti to the royal scribe Imenmes, son of Pendjerty. The details of the hands and facial features are also added with black paint. The ushabti stands in typical fashion, with hands crossed over the chest, each holding a hoe, and with a seed bag over the proper left shoulder. 
 
The name Imenmes, or Amenmose, means ‘Amen is born’. The dedicatee of this ushabti was a royal scribe from the time of Ramesses II (r. 1279-1213 B.C.). Imenmes was the son of the judge Pendjerty and Mutemonet (or Iny), the sistrum bearer of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. He is known from several monuments, including statues now in the British Museum (EA137), the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum (INV 5749), and the Manchester University Museum. His Theban tomb (TT373) was discovered in 1948 under some houses in Khokha. The tomb describes Imenmes as ‘The royal scribe, whom the king appointed(?) as head of the temples, Amenmose, (born of) Iny’. This may mean that Imenmes was an inspector of temples and could explain why his monuments have been found in so many different regions of Egypt.1 Several of the objects dedicated to Imenmes, including his tomb, feature the goddess Neith in a prominent position. This could be a reference to Esna, Neith’s major cult centre and the birthplace of Imenmes’ father.

Provenance

Previously in the Private Collection of General Antoine-Joseph Veaux (1764-1817), France, acquired while on the Egyptian expedition with Napoleon Bonaparte. 
Private Collection of Pierre Coste, France, acquired from the above in 1798. 
Thence by descent to his daughter, Laura Gauthier. 
Thence by descent to her daughter, Jeanne Gauthier. 
Thence by descent to her son, Paul Henri Mollandin de Boissy. 
Thence by descent to his son, Henri Mollandin de Boissy (1897-1972), Marseilles, France, accompanied by a handwritten note in 1972 or before. 
Thence by descent to his daughter, Eliane Denante (d. 2022), Tarascon, France. 
Thence by descent to her daughter, Sylvie Denante, France, accompanied by a signed letter & by French cultural passport 242720. 
ALR: S00235321, with IADAA Certificate, this item has been checked against the Interpol database. 

Note on the Provenance

General Antoine-Joseph Veaux (1764-1817) was born on 17 September 1764 in Seurre, where his father was a notary. He enlisted in the Rouergue infantry regiment in 1785, but was fired in 1791. On his return to Seurre, he was hired as a captain in the first battalion of Côte-d'Or volunteers. At his request, he joined the French Revolutionary Army of the Alps in 1793, where he served as Chief Adjutant General. In June 1795, he was transferred to the Army of Italy, where he was promoted to Brigadier General in 1797 at the age of 33. On 12 January 1798, Veaux was assigned to the Armée de l’Est, and took part in the French campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798-1801). Veaux was seriously injured at the failed Siege of Acre (1799), often seen as the turning point of the campaign – Napoleon withdrew the French forces to Egypt two months later. Although newspapers announced Veaux’s death in this conflict, the general had, in fact, been captured by the English while attempting to return to France for treatment of his injuries. It was not until 1801 that Veaux was able to get back to France.

Due his injuries, Veaux asked to be stationed closer to his family and was transferred to the 18th Military Division. In 1805 he again joined the Army of Italy, and then the 8th corps of the Grande Armée the following year. From 1809 to 1814 he served as general of the department of Côte-d'Or.

During the First Restoration of the Bourbon dynasty to the throne in 1814, Veaux joined the side of the king, but was never officially granted command of his department. In the Hundred Days, Veaux returned to Napoleon, who greeted him warmly – “alors, vieil Égyptien!” – and named him general of the 18th division with exceptional powers.

After the Second Restoration, Veaux retired in 1815, but was arrested on 23 October with three other Bonapartist figures. They were accused of having conspired to overthrow the royal government, and participating in the attack led by Napoleon in March 1815. The case was taken to Assize Court, where Veaux and his co-defendants were acquitted, but not before having been imprisoned in the citadel of Besancon in very harsh conditions. Veaux committed suicide on the night of 23 September 1817. At his funeral, he was given military honours, and many retired soldiers attended the ceremony. His widow would later receive a pension from the July Monarchy in 1832.

Veaux gifted this ushabti to fellow Bonapartist Pierre Coste in 1798. Coste served as mayor of Saint-Jean-de-Losne commune in the Côte-d'Or department from 27 August 1802 until 1815. Coste was responsible for the restoration of the historic name Saint-Jean-de-Losne to the commune in 1806, after it had changed its name to Belle-Défense 13 years prior. On 15 January 1814, Pierre Coste organised resistance against the approaching Austrian troops. With the help of volunteers from Auxonne, a company of men aged 20 to 50 was formed. They managed to capture fourteen Austrians and kill four before the city fell on 24 January. Coste was also in office when Saint-Jean-de-Losne sent a delegation to support Napoleon’s return from the island of Elba in 1815. The Emperor awarded the Legion of Honour to the city in recognition of the inhabitant’s bravery. The Minister of War, Marshal Prince of Eckmühl, announced via letter to Coste that the Emperor would gift the city two field guns, each with a supply of 200 rounds, as thanks. After the Bourbon Restoration, Coste was imprisoned and sentenced to a lifetime of house arrest for his support of Napoleon.