Relief of Nofer

Relief of Nofer
Egypt, From Giza, tomb G 2110, Old Kingdom, 2540–2465 B.C.E.
Limestone, 95 x 109.5 cm, 362.9 kg (37 3/8 x 43 1/8 in., 800.05 lb.)
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition 1907, MFA #07.1002
Photos ©Joan Ann Lansberry, 2014

"This relief originally stood on the right side in the entrance jamb as one entered Nofer's tomb chapel. The angle at the right edge indicates the slope of the chapel's exterior wall. Nofer stands on the left, holding a staff and scepter. The highly individual, beak-like point of his nose is repeated in his reserve head exhibited nearby. As the tomb owner, Nofer is the most important person in this scene, and therefore his figure towers over the four scribes who approach from the right. The scribes' equipment includes a bivalve shell holding cakes of red and black ink." (From info card)

"Among his titles, both real and honorary, were overseer of the treasury, overseer of the king's regalia, overseer of the arsenal, secretary of all the secrets of the king, estate manager, and royal scribe." (From museum website)

"G 2110. Nofer, Overseer of scribes of the crews, Director of a crew of recruits, Overseer of the House of Weapons, etc." (_Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings_, by Bertha Porter, Rosalind Moss and Jaromir Malek)
The 1976 record gives "Meresankh" as his wife, but more recent research is giving "Wen-ankhes" as her name.

"Like the larger figure of Nefer, the bodies of the four scribes are relatively flat, except around the faces and knees. However, they are noteworthy because of the details included by the sculptor. Each scribe is named: Neferu, Weni, Khenti-kauef, and Senenuka. The last was the owner of a small mastaba (G 2041) adjoining Nefer's tomb. Each man is shown with individualized scribal equipment: Neferu and Khenti-kauef both carry a supply of ink in a shell, whereas the other two men bear the customary rectangular ink holder. Because all four face left, the artist represented them in a most interesting manner. In typical Egyptian fashion, the last three in the line are showen with the upper torso facing the viewer. Each has his right arm forward and his left arm back. The pose of the first scribe is different, however, because he is shown writing. In order to avoid depicting him as left-handed, the artist has twisted his torso so that the viewer sees the back of his shoulders, thus shifting his left arm forward and allowing him to write with his right hand." (_Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids_, Catharine H. Roehrig, pages 285-286)