An amazing provenanced Egyptian Faience Shabti figure owned by Baron Empain (1852-1929). This example has good moulded detail remaining and excellent black paint especially around the agricultural tools. Hieroglyphs can be seen on the front panel of the figure in a black paint.
Background: Shabtis were placed in the tombs amongst the belonging of the deceased and were intended to perform as servants, should they be commanded to do manual labor in the afterlife. Most varieties of shabtis carry a hoe on their shoulder and a basket on their backs. This tells us that they were intended to farm for the deceased. Each figure normally has hieroglyphs on the legs they carried inscriptions asserting their readiness to answer the gods' summons to work.
Dimensions: Height: 8.8 cms.
Condition: Section of feet missing.
Provenance: Purchased from Christie's Auctions on 14-April 2011. Lot no.96.
Previous provenance: This was in the collection of Baron Edouard Empain (1852-1929), famously known for building the Paris Metro. The Baron Empain Palace (Qasr Al Baron) still remains in Egypt. Baron Edouard Empain was regarded as an amateur Egyptologist.