Sekhmet Statue

M11809

About this object

Most of the objects evacuated from the museum in the days and months before the May Blitz were carried out by hand. Some of the big and heavy objects, although rare and special to the collection, proved impossible to move.

The sculptures of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Sekhmet had been bought by Joseph Mayer (1803-1886) in 1852 for his new museum in Liverpool’s Colquitt Street. In 1867 they were donated to Liverpool (now World) Museum and put on display - in pride of place - in the museum’s Main Hall. As you can see from the photographs taken around 1932 (see Before and After section) the Sekhmet statues were almost complete.

As the Blitz began the statues remained in place at the entrance to the staircase, but were now surrounded by sandbags. Although they survived the fire they broke into several pieces. It was not until 1995 that the two statues were repaired by museum conservators ready for their redisplay when the museum reopened as World Museum in 2005. Today, they have returned to the museum’s atrium and continue to guard the main staircase.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    New Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    1390 BC - 1352 BC (Dynasty 18: Reign of Amenhotep III) about
  • Materials
    Granodiorite
  • Location
    World Museum, Ground level, Atrium
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date collected
    1824 - 1827
  • Measurements
    1960 mm x 500 mm x 840 mm x 1286 kg
  • Note
    Purchased from 9th Viscount Valentia's collection, no. 428 in the 1852 sale catalogue. Mayer gave £85 for it and M11810 according to a priced catalogue. Viscount Valentia acquired the object from Henry Salt who acquired it in Egypt between 1824-7. It is likely that this statue originated at the mortuary temple of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC) in Western Thebes.
  • Related people
    Annesley, George Arthur, 9th Viscount Valentia (Previous owner); Joseph Mayer (Associated Person, collector, previous owner); Henry Salt (Collector, previous owner)

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1852
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Annesley, George Arthur, 9th Viscount Valentia

    Owned from: 1835
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1852
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Salt

    Owned from: 1827
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1835
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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