Thursday, July 21, 2016
I've gotten back into my San Diego photo archives and was frustrated by only a partial capture of the info card on one statue. Was it a shabti? Was it a statue?
This statue and several stelae were found lying in the drifted sand or taken for paving stones in later tombs. Frankfort deems the statue and a related stela, also at the the San Diego museum, to be from the Middle Kingdom. I've already shared the stela:
Meanwhile, I'd judged it as First Intermediate period or possibly Middle Kingdom, but the pose seems more Old Kingdom.
Both the statue and the stela refer to a man named Mentuhotep. Their inscriptions are very similar. Combining the Frankfort and Johnston translations, we have for the stela: "An offering which the king gives, a thousand of bread and beer, of cattle and fowl, to the Ka of the Overseer of the Granary, Mentuhotep, born of Wia (Uya)(triumphant?)". The statue doesn't speak of his parent, but expands his job title to "the Overseer of the Granary of the God’s Offerings".
Frankfort says of the statue:
The Met museum has a Middle Kingdom statue of a standing man in a shroud, and while the position of his left hand is the same to the San Diego statue, the Met museum's figure has his feet ready to run, and he lacks writing on the front:
Wikipedia has a photo of a early shabti shaped like a naked, standing man, in wax, from the 11th dynasty (circa 2050 BCE), Middle Kingdom, at the Munich, Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, ÄS 6085. This wax figure has very little in common with the more familiar New Kingdom era shabtis. So we can see the Middle Kingdom San Diego statue of Mentuhotep is definitely a prototype for that more familiar shape.
Johnston gives the accession numbers for the Stela and the Statue respectively, Museum of Man # 14931 and #14932.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
You know me, I get ideas, ideas, and more ideas! At the Ferocious Bronze: The Animal Sculptures of Arthur Putnam exhibit in San Diego, they showed a display of how he did his small sculptures:
Here we see a wire armature and then how the wax is applied to it.
This lighting shows hieroglyph carving, which is done in wax, this side has Set (Sutekh), Great of Magic (Heka)
Could I attempt a simple design? I do remember my somewhat dreadful but not entirely hopeless clay pieces I did in high school. (Sadly, they didn't survive our many moves.) I think I might be able to manage a simple design. Now could I do the hieroglyphs I'd like on it?
You can see how awful my attempts are. There is a heating device which heats the wax up, I'm hoping I can do the equivalent of erasing a bad attempt with it and then re-carving it.
Some of the waxes melt at low temperatures. I'm afraid if I send for some now in the worst of summer, they'd be a melted blob by the time they got to my mail box. Does a local store sell this stuff? Anyway, if I get daring, (and I do "hear" small nudging voices saying "Get daring!", grin), I'd like to have a try at this:
Perhaps I will attempt a SMALL ankh, no writing, first!
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