Shabti of Horwedja


About this object

The Second World War changed the priorities of many museums across the UK. Wartime austerity meant that museums found it difficult to look after their collections. Many museums began to focus on their local communities and decided to specialise in local history and fine arts.

Norwich Castle Museum took this same decision in 1956 when it began to sell large parts of its collection of ‘foreign’ antiquities and ethnography to World Museum. World Museum was able to buy this huge collection, containing thousands of objects, because it had received War Damage Funds after the Blitz.

The Norwich collection contained objects from across the world and through time. This Ancient Egyptian shabti was just one of the many objects from Norwich that replaced the collections lost in the fire.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hawara
  • Date made
    380 BC - 343 BC (Dynasty 30)
  • Materials
    Egyptian Faience
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum
  • Collector
    Flaxman Charles John Spurrell
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hawara
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    222 mm x 66 mm x 45 mm
  • Note
    Transliteration and translation of the inscription: sHD Wsir Hm-nTr N.t Hr-wDA ms (n) Sd.t mAa-xrw Dd.f i w[S]b.ty ipn ir Wsir Hm-nTr N.t Hr-wDA ms (n) Sd.t mAa-xrw r ir.t kA.t nb(.t) ir(.t) im m Xr.t-nTr n is[t] Hw sDb.w im m s r Xrt.f m.k wi r nw nb ir.t im r srwD sx.t r smH.y wDb.w r Xn.t Say r Ts pXr m.k wi, "The illuminated one, the Osiris, the God’s servant of Neith, Horwedja, born (to) Shedet, justified, he speaks: O, these shabtis, if one counts, the Osiris, the God’s servant of Neith, Horwedja, born (to) Shedet, justified, to do all the works that are to be done there in the realm of the dead – now indeed obstacles are implanted therewith – as a man at his duties, ‘here I am,’ you shall say when you are counted off at any time to serve there, to cultivate the fields, to irrigate the river banks, to ferry the sand of the west to the east and vice–versa; ‘here I am,’ you shall say".
  • Related people
    Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery ( Previous owner); William Matthew Flinders Petrie ( Previous owner); Flaxman Charles John Spurrell ( Collector, previous owner)


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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