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  • Recent Egyptian AcquisitionsAuthor(s): Albert M. LythgoeSource: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 12 (Dec., 1907), pp. 193-196Published by: The Metropolitan Museum of ArtStable URL: .Accessed: 18/05/2014 23:48

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    T HE Museum has now placed on exhibition in Room 6, formerly devoted to American antiqui- ties, the first consignment of

    Egyptian antiquities resulting from the work carried on in Egypt during the past year. The intention of the Trustees to pro- vide for the development of the Egyptian collection along systematic and definite lines was announced a year ago' and the plan of work as then outlined provided both 1 See the Bulletin for November, 1906.

    for the increase of the collection through material resulting from organized work of excavation in Egypt and for the purchase of such other objects as would fill out and strengthen the collection wherever its representation of a particular phase or period of Egyptian art was inadequate.

    The material now placed on exhibition marks the beginning of the development of the collection on this new basis. From the excavations which are being carried on by the Museum expedition at the Pyra- mids of Lisht, in pursuance of this plan, the Museum will ultimately receive, from




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    last season's work, the great red-granite cophagus of Hor-mehet-biti, acquired from altar of King Amenemhat I, several corn- the Egyptian government through the plete blocks of friendly interest relief sculpture of Prof essor Gas-

    and a considerngl ton M easpro able number of Director-G en- architect ural er al of Antiqui- fragments from ties in Egypt.

    the pyramid rogress of Tthe ex-the sarcopha- temple of that gus comes from king,' as well as a tomb in the many smallerial pyramidchased during the field

    objects whichseer of Sakkara, w ere assigned to bout I5ah-Seker yar ds our Museum by is not possdue east of th e

    the more impor- As the Egyptian collectionn Step Pyramid. tant examples and to the classes and per-ago, it cont inedIn figure I, f rom

    the divisi on of sculpture, and photograph by the year's re J.E. Quibell, sultAmongs. These Director of Gov- will not r e a c h ernment Ex- the Museum cavations at until the corn- Sakkara, the

    ing summer, sarcoph agus hut a s election s ay be seen in of objects found i gina

    in the tomb of position in the Senbtes dur ing tomb, with its t h e same ex- lid moved cavations2 are side by those now placed on who anciently e x h i b i t i o n. plundered the With these are tcmb. In an in- shown a series scription of of photographs

    FIG. 2. SCULPTOR'S MODEL: HEAD OF A QUEEN seventeen per-

    illustrating the pendicular lines conditions under covering the lid which the oh- and a single jects were found and also showing the horizontal line encircling the body of various stages in the progress of the ex- the sacophagus, Hor-mehet-biti is de- cavations as a whole. scribed as "the rcyal treasurer, the royal

    Of the material purchased during the friend, the overseer of the palace, the over- year there are some two hundred objects seer of the royal chamber, honored by so varied in character that a detailed de- Ptah-Seker." The sarcophagus dates

    scription of them all is not possible within from the Later Period (26th-3oth dynasty, the scope of this article, but attention may about 600-400 B. c.). be called here to some of the more impor- As the Egyptian collection stood, a year tant examples and to the classes and per- ago, it contained but a limited number of iods to which they belong. examples of sculpture, and emphasis has

    Among these the place of importance been laid on the strengthening of this side should be given to the large basalt sar- of the collection so far as possible. A

    Described in the Bulletin for July, 1907. series of sculptures, both in the round and Described in the Bulletin for October, 1907. in relief, has been secured which mater-


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    ially broadens the collection in its repre- sentation of this important side of Egyp- tian art. Grouped chronologically, they consist, for the Middle Empire, of a standing statuette of a male figure, in green basalt, and the upper part of a large quartzite statue- both characteristic of the simpler, but powerful, model- ling of that per- iod. To the New Empire belongs a series of four

    squatting stat- uettes of priests of Amon, in grey and black gran- ite, the garments tightly drawn about the fig- ure in each case and with no at- tempt to render detail; while in


    contrast to this, OR G(

    in a small seated group of a man and his wife, the drap- ery is worked out with all the elabor- ateness found in other types of sculp- ture of the same period. Of the New Empire, also, are a large head of a god (probably Amon), in grey granite, a smaller head of the same character in red granite, and the upper half of a red gran- ite statue of the lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet. In illustration of the work of the Saite or Later Period are shown a ser- ies of fourteen sculptors' models or trial- pieces, some of which are represented in figs. 2, 3 and 4. Although, in general, the sculpture of this period lacks the vitality and power of the work of the earlier epochs, yet the delicacy and subtlety of modelling and the minute rendering of detail, seen in some of the examples here figured, have never been excelled, perhlaps, in the work of any period. Several of these models

    have a particular interest in the fact that they are unfinished, and so illustrate the earlier steps by which the sculptor finally

    arrived at his finished pro-

    On other sides t h e collection has been round- ed out by the acquisition oe af numaterial of which the re was inadequate o r perhaps no rep- resentation. Of the Pre-dynas- tic Period are a number of ex- amples of pot- ter y of the more rare ly occurring types


    which a number of men and wome-in are

    and "black-in- ciseen engaged war e- and also of th is period are a

    EL: FIGURE OF A QUEEN number of flint )DESS k n i v e s a n d

    lance-heads, showing the high degreegn,of skill arrived at by the early Egyptians in the manufacture of such implements. The earliest begin- nings of Egyptian sculpture are illustrated in four pre-dynastic figurines, of painted terra-cotta, while a pre-dynastic model of a boat, in terracotta, corresponds closely in type to those represented on the decorated vases of the same period. Of the Old Em- pire are a number of toilet vases of alabas- ter and diorite, chiefly of the 5th and 6th dynasties. Dating from the Middle Em- pire is a painted wooden group represent- ing the enclosed fore-court of a house, in which a number of men and women are seen engaged in various occupations.

    A series of eight silver vessels, with frag- ments of several others, some bearing the name of Rameses II and all of them dat- ing from his reign, form an important con- tribution to the Museum's collection of




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    objects in the precious metals. They were found last winter near the site of the ancient Bubastis and are similar in type and design to a number of other vessels of the same date in the Cairo Museum. With these which have been added to our col- lection we are fortunately able to exhibit a gold vessel and fragments of two silver vessels, loaned by Mr. Theodore M. Davis, which were found at the same time.

    From the Egypt Exploration Fund the Museum has received an important con- signment of material found in the excava- tion of the i th dynasty temple at Deir el-Bahari, on the west bank at Thebes, constructed by Neb-hepet-Ra Mentuhetep. The excavation of this temple has been carried on by the Fund during the past four years under


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