HEAD OF ANUBIS
Anubis the God of Death is among the most iconic gods in ancient Egypt and people during this time knew him as Anpu or Inpu. Anubis is among the oldest deities whose mentioning can be seen in the oldest mastabas of the Old Kingdom and also on the texts in the pyramids as a protector or guardian of the dead. Initially, he was known as the god of the underworld but later he became associated with the embalming process and the funeral processions. After being adopted as the son of the King Osiris, his name got slightly changed and he was then known as “Imy-ut” (“He Who is In the Place of Embalming”), “nub-tA-djser” (“lord of the sacred land”).
Ancient Egyptians believed that persevering the body of the dead and using sweet-smelling herbs and plants would help the dead because Anubis would then sniff the mummy of the deceased and would allow only the pure to move on to paradise. Early myths even show that Anubis was successful in defeating all the nine bows or the traditional enemies of Egypt after which he was given the title of “Jackal ruler of the bows.”
Some other names by which Anubis was known in ancient Egypt include Anpu, Inpu, Ienpw, Imeut (“Lord-of-the-Place-of-Embalming”). He was a supporter of mummification and the deceased when they moved to the underworld. The appearance of Anubis was seen as a man who has the head of a jackal like an animal. The head color was black, which represented him as the god of the dead. The full human form of Anubis could be very rarely seen but in the Temple of Rameses II at Abydos Anubis can be seen in a fully human form. Also, Anubis has a beautiful statue to his name which is made in the form of a jackal that was found at the Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Anubis is an extremely ancient god in Egypt’s history and he was the original god of the dead after which Osiris took over the position and after this change, Anubis was made as one of the many sons of the Osiris and the psychopomp or the conductor of the souls of the underworld. His totem was a jackal as these were animals that hunted at the edges of the desert near the cemeteries and necropolis throughout Egypt.
Prayers devoted to Anubis can be seen carved on many ancient tombs of Egypt and he has many duties to his name. He watched the process of mummification of the dead to ensure it was proper. He conducted the souls of the underworld while testing their knowledge of the gods and their faith. He placed the heart of the dead on the scales of justice when the judging of the heart took place and also he fed the souls of wicked people to Ammit.
Private French collection, acquired on 5th January 1978 at Galerie Carrefour in Paris. Accompanied by original expertise report (with signed photograph) from Pierre Vérité dated 5th January 1978. Accompanied by a French Cultural Passport .
European Art Market, 2017.