This statuette is in keeping with the canonical iconography of Osiris: in his hands, he holds the flagellum, the nekhekh and hekat scepters, and on his head he wears his usual atef crown. A sacred snake – the uraeus, an emblem of supreme power – descends down the front of his headgear; just above the forehead, the snake’s head would have been attached. He is wrapped in a shroud that encloses the contours of his body, the proportions of which are slender and elegant. The position of the arms, wrists crossed on the chest, is a clue to the origin of the statuette, which would have been manufactured in a center of Upper Egypt. His eyes are inlaid with white stone, his long eyebrows and cosmetic lines were also formerly inlaid, and his chin is adorned with a long false beard with braided locks, terminating in a ringlet.
Osiris is associated with the fecundity of the Egyptian soil, the renewal of vegetation and the world of shepherds, as evidenced by the hekat scepter, which represents the shepherds’ crook. He was the guardian of the order of the universe and the cycles of nature. Osiris is also recognized as a funerary divinity, ruler of the underworld, which contained the seeds of life and, at the same time, was the protector of the deceased, to whom he promised life after death.
Previously in the Collection of Frank Condon, Connecticut prior to 1979.
In the Charles Pankow Collection from 1979-2004 in San Francisco, USA.
With David Aaron, 2004-2007.
Private German Collection.
According to Egyptian Antiquities from the Charles Pankow Collectio, 1981, the objects in this catalogue were exhibited at: Van Doren Gallery, California; Purdue University, Indiana; Trinton Museum of Art, California; San Diego Museum of Art, California; and at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii
Sotheby’s Parke Bernet, New York, May 19th 1979, Lot 33.
Egyptian Antiquities from the Charles Pankow Collection, 1981, p.7.