About this object

Mummiform shabti, carved from Egyptian alabaster (travertine/calcite), wearing a tripartite wig that is outlined in black, and filled with green wax, of which only traces remain. The arms are crossed left over right on the chest, being simply outlined in black with no modelling in relief. The hands are similarly outlined. No implements are obvious. The face is very crudely modelled, and there are traces of black paint, used to show the eyes and the mouth. The feet are not defined, and the shabti tapers to a rounded base. The front of the figure has a single column of a very crudely written inscription that gives the prenomen or throne name of Ramesses VI (Neb–Maat–Re). Unusually for a royal figure, there is no uraeus on the front of the wig. The shabti is painted with a mixture of green pigment (copper) and bees wax with inscription and details in black.

Translation of the inscription: The illuminated one, the Osiris, the Lord of the Two Lands, Neb–Maat–Re–mery– Amen, justified (?).

Summary of scientific analysis of 3 shabtis of Rameses VI in 2007: the paint was all wax based - the green paint was wax mixed with either copper or a copper salt and heated, to form a copper-wax complex. There was also Egyptian blue, and ochre mixed with wax, but we didn't manage to confirm the nature of the yellow/brown pigment on some the shabtis.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    New Kingdom (Ramesside Period)
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    1143 - 1136 BC (Dynasty 20: Reign of Ramesses VI)
  • Materials
    Paint; Egyptian Alabaster; Wax
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer, 1867
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes: Valley of the Kings
  • Date collected
    19th Century
  • Measurements
    151 mm x 55 mm x 35 mm
  • Note
    Transliteration and translation of the inscription: sHD Wsir nb-tA.wy Nb-MAa.t-Ra-(mry-Imn) mAa-xrw (?), "The illuminated one, the Osiris, the Lord of the Two Lands, Neb–Maat–Re–mery– Amen, justified (?)".
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer (Associated Person, collector, previous owner); Joseph Sams (Previous owner)

Where is this object from?

Explore related


  • ‘Rapport sur le déblaiement des tombes 6 et 9 de Biban el Molouk,’ in Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Égypte volume 18, pp. 271–274

    Daressy, Georges

    Author: Daressy, Georges
    Publisher: Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Égypte
    Date: 1919

  • Ancient Egypt: objects of antiquity forming part of the extensive and rich collections from Ancient Egypt brought to England by, or now in the possession of, J. Sams

    Sams, Joseph

    Author: Sams, Joseph
    Publisher: Joseph Sams
    Date: 1839
    Description: This rare book contains images of many objects now in World Museum Liverpool. Most survived the fire that destroyed the museum in 1941, but for those that perished this publication provides one of the only records of their existence. Many objects in Liverpool's Egyptology collection once belonged to Joseph Sams (1784-1860) a Darlington bookseller who visited Egypt and Palestine in 1822-3, bringing back an extensive collection of antiquities. Many were acquired by the British Museum by a Parliamentary grant in 1824. Between 1830 and 1839 Sams purchased objects from the collections of Henry Salt and Charles Bogaert. Much of Sams collection was later purchased by the Liverpool antiquarian Joseph Mayer (1803-1886). In 1867 Mayer donated 14,000 objects to the Liverpool Museum. Scans of some of the book can be found on the University of Heidelberg's website: http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/sams1839/0001/thumbs?sid=e8625dd65d2533f48137aec215ade5a8#current_page

  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition.

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: Catalogue of most of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Jospeh Sams or Lord Valentia (ex Henry Salt) collections. There are illustrations of some objects, in particular the amulets, by Mr Ll. Jewitt, FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 cataloue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text, provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.

  • The Shabti Collections volume 6: a Selection from World Museum, Liverpool

    Janes, Glenn

    Author: Janes, Glenn
    Publisher: Olicar House Publications
    Date: 2016
    Description: Lavishly illustrated catalogue of inscribed and excavated shabtis from the collection of World Museum, Liverpool, with a six page foreword by the curator, Ashley Cooke, describing the history of the collection . For more details visit the publisher's website: http://www.shabtis.com/liverpoolcatalogue.php

  • Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings Volume I Part 2: The Theban Necropolis. Royal Tombs and Smaller Cemeteries(2nd ed.)

    B. Porter and R. L. B. Moss, assisted by E. W. Burney, now edited by J. Malek

    Author: B. Porter and R. L. B. Moss, assisted by E. W. Burney, now edited by J. Malek
    Publisher: Griffith Institute
    Date: 1999
    Description: Volume I Part 2. The Theban Necropolis. Royal Tombs and Smaller Cemeteries. (2nd ed.) 1999, unchanged reprint of the 1964 edition in hard cover and reduced format. ISBN 0900416 106 Details can be found at the Griffith Institute website: http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/5publ.html


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Joseph Sams

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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