Large Egyptian Bronze Osiris

SKU: MS.0003

Origin: Egypt
Circa: Late Period to Early Ptolemaic Period, 664 BC - 150 BC
Dimensions: 27" Height x 4.75" Width x 4.75" Depth (68.5 cm x 12 cm x 12 cm), 23.5" height without base
Medium: Bronze

At roughly two feet tall this exceptional figure of Osiris may be considered monumental for the type.  Solid cast in a deep umber bronze with olive undertones, this imposing statue conveys with dramatic effect a gravitas that is both striking and stately.  The god is depicted mummiform on an integral trapezoidal base, with arms folded on his chest, and wearing a plumed atef-crown supported by ram horns, fronted by a uraeus. A long false beard with upturned tip adorns his face, and an elaborate multi-strand broad collar with incised decoration covers his shoulders. The counterpoise falls between the shoulder blades to his rear, while he holds the traditional crook in the left hand and a flail in the right. The face features an archaizing smile, with philtrum indicated, a straight slender nose, and large almond-shaped eyes, which along with the brows are inlaid with silver.  The upper eye lids, cosmetic lines and brows are all rendered in raised relief. 

with Franco Monti, Paris. Private collection, Parma, Italy, acquired 1970s; and thence by descent to the present owner.

With an orange-peel dimpled surface overall probably for the application of gilding (now lost). With a very dark green/brown surface patination. Several small square and rectangular shaped casting repairs overall, particularly visible over the proper left arm area. Loss to the lower edge of the proper left rams horn. A Small roughly circular shaped hole on the proper left side of the hollow integral base. The eyes appear to be overpainted a mottled dark gold colour.

Osiris was one of the most important of the Egyptian deities, embodying all the quintessential concerns of the ancient Egyptians through his close association with death, resurrection and fertility. He was frequently depicted as a mummy with hands holding the royal implements of the crook and flail and wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt. The cult of Osiris became increasingly important in the 1st Millennium B.C., as reflected in the profusion of bronze Osiris figures that were offered at shrines and temples of this period. Such statuettes were made in various sizes, however the present figure above is one of the larger examples.

For similar size and composition including the Atef crown, implements, and adornments see 'Osiris, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, 54.551.'

Vogue, Italy, March, 1982.


Late Dynastic

Large Egyptian Bronze Osiris

Late Dynastic

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