About this object

Statue in black basalt of a seated official with hands resting on the upper legs. He wears a wig and a kilt with his upper body left bare. The sides of the chair are inscribed with hieroglyphs and the back of the figure is supported by a pillar. The name of this seated figure is missing but the hieroglyphic inscription reveals he was a hereditary regional governor and royal acquaintance [rpa HAtya rx nsw]. This is an exceptional example of Middle Kingdom art that is not very well represented in British collections. The broad flat face and the eyes have parallels with the art of the Middle Kingdom, especially those manufactured during the reign of King Senwosret II that display realistic physiognomy.

A sketch on the object (profile) and a transcription of the text was made by Professor Percy Newberry in 1918. The statue was described as being weathered on the left side and that the nose and feet were lost. The statue was broken apart when the Museum was bombed in the Second World War. About six pieces were recovered from the ruined gallery but remained unidentified until 22 June 2009. They were reassembled in 2017 – the first time the statue has been on display since 1941.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Middle Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    1985 BC - 1773 BC about (Dynasty 12)
  • Materials
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1850 before
  • Measurements
    1040 mm x 500 mm x 270 mm x 113 kg
  • Note
    See entry in http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/3pm8sta2.pdf To be published by Dr Simon O'Connor in 2018.
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph Sams ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • 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: 83 page illustrated catalogue 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 Joseph Sams or Lord Valentia collections. The woodcut illustrations were produced by the noted Victorian illustrator and engraver, Llewellynn Frederick William Jewitt FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 catalogue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text. Much of this information was provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.

  • Handbook and Guide to the Egyptian Collection on Exhibition in the Public Museums, Liverpool 4th Edition

    Newberry, Percy; Peet, Thomas Eric

    Author: Newberry, Percy; Peet, Thomas Eric
    Publisher: City of Liverpool Public Museums
    Date: 1932-03
    Description: The original handbook and guide was largey the work of Professor Newberry, before he retired from the Chair of Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. Professor T. E. Peet saw its completion, but also its revison in subsequent editions. The section on Meroe has been written by Miss D M Vaughan, M.A.

  • Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings Volume VIII: Objects of Provenance Not Known Part 1

    Malek, Jaromir; Magee, Diana (assisted by); Miles, Elizabeth (assisted by)

    Author: Malek, Jaromir; Magee, Diana (assisted by); Miles, Elizabeth (assisted by)
    Publisher: Griffith Institute
    Date: 1999
    Description: Part 1: Royal and Private Statues (Predynastic to Dynasty XVII). See the Griffith Institute website for more detail: http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/3staintr.html


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1850
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Joseph Sams

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1850
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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