c1000 BC Ancient Egyptian Funerary Beeswax Ushabti

£1,200.00




A very rare c1000BC Ancient Egyptian Funerary Beeswax Ushabti, in the shape of a mummified man, that was inserted into the tomb and represented an aid or helper into the next life.
The Ushabti is an amber coloured figure of a man that is wearing a Nemes cloth headdress. Despite being made of wax, the features of the head are still quite evident. He has his arms crossed across his chest. There are the remnants of brown thin straps sticking to the body. Condition for its age and fragility is remarkable.
Ushabtis would be made out of almost any material, including wood or clay, but the most common material for making ushabtis was called ceramic faience. The most common colour of faience glaze was some variation of blue or green but could also be many other colours. It can be assumed that only a small number of the elite and royalty had Ushabtis beeswax figurines. Of course, because of the fragility of the wax, only a few have survived. Beeswax was considered to have magical powers associated with protection and regeneration, but its use was extremely short lived. According to Egyptian beliefs, when the deceased came alive in the afterlife, the ushabtis would also come to life and would perform any menial tasks that the deceased might be asked to do. Egyptians depended heavily upon agriculture in daily life, and it was assumed that the afterlife would be similar, so most ushabtis are depicted holding agricultural tools like hoes or bags of seeds to continue this farmwork in the afterlife. To make sure the ushabti knew what to do, each figurine was usually inscribed with a short spell from the Book of the Dead. This spell was designed to bring the ushabti to life and gave the ushabti instructions for performing work on behalf of the deceased.
Size: 7.5 cm (3 inches)
Weight: 5 g