Egyptian Limestone Stele Fragment

SKU: MS.0011

Origin: Egypt
Circa: New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, Reign of Ramesses II 1279 - 1213 B.C.
Dimensions: 12.5" Height x 16.2" Width x 2.8" Depth (31.75 cm x 41.15 cm x 7.1 cm) with stand
Medium: Limestone

For Penbuy, sculpted in sunk relief, depicting a kneeling male figure facing right, wearing a long kilt, his arms raised in adoration in front of offerings comprising sheaf of flowers, bread, haunch of meat and a bull, above a six column hieroglyphic inscription, reading: ‘doubling the offerings of all things good and pure for their spirits, by the hand of the Guardian of the Place of Truth, Penbuy, justified.’

Deir el-Medina, Egypt. Henry Windsor Villiers Stuart, M.P. (1827-1895) collection. Private collection, UK, acquired from Folio Fine Art, London, November 1970.

Intact as preserved. Edges chipped and uneven. Small rectangular section missing at bottom left corner as seen in illustration. Consolidated stable crack running diagonally left from top edge above male figure’s head, through his upraised right hand and stopping at the base of the 3rd column of hieroglyphs. Shallow surface chips including on left thigh of male figure and top edge of sheaf of flowers. Further minor pits and chips overall. Ochre paint well preserved on figure, offerings and in hieroglyphs. Remains of ochre paint around borders. Pierced twice along top edge. Back roughly hewn and ink inscribed in two places with ‘1129/6’. Drilled vertically for insertion of two metal rods for mount.

Penbuy appears to have been a craftsman working in the Valley of the Kings and part of the community of artisans living in Deir el-Medina, ‘the Place of Truth’. His tomb is recorded in Porter and Moss, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings, I. The Theban Necropolis, Part 1, Private Tombs, Oxford, 1994, p. 19-21. He is also known from a number of stelae, including at the British Museum, acc. no. 1466 and at the Glasgow Museums, acc. no. EGNN.683.

Villiers Stuart was a British soldier, politician, clergyman and author. He served as vicar of Bulkington, Warwickshire from 1852-55, and of Napton from 1855-71. He resigned his holy orders to pursue a political career and became M.P. for the county of Waterford, Ireland in 1873. In 1882 he was sent to Egypt by the British government to report on the condition of the people of the country, publishing Egypt after the War in 1883.

For other stele mentioning Penbuy see the British Museum, acc. no. 1466 and the Glasgow Museums, acc. no. EGNN.683.

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New Kingdom

Egyptian Limestone Stele Fragment

New Kingdom

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