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Overseer of the Treasury, Ptahhotep

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Ptahhotep is shown in a Persian costume that Egyptian officials adopted under the Persian rulers to imitate Persian court attire. The jacket with flaring sleeves, over which a skirt is wrapped, is complemented by a Persian bracelet and torque (a bar-like necklace) as well as by an Egyptian pectoral, or chest plaque. These accessories give Ptahhotep the overall appearance of an Egypto-Persian official, one whose dress speaks clearly of his loyalty to the Persian king. The rendering of the two ibexes that terminate the torque, however, is typically Egyptian, with the heads shown from the side. This treatment, together with the pectoral showing Ptah and the lion-headed goddess Sakhmet, underscores the essentially Egyptian nature of the statue.

MEDIUM Quartzite
DATES 521–486 B.C.E.
DYNASTY early Dynasty 27
PERIOD First Persian Period
DIMENSIONS 35 × 12 × 13 in., 252 lb. (88.9 × 30.5 × 33 cm, 114.31kg) mount (dimensions as installed): 36 × 12 × 13 in. (91.4 × 30.5 × 33 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, probably from the Temple of Ptah-Tenen, Memphis, Egypt; by 1937, acquired by Gregorie Loukianoff of Cairo, Egypt; 1937, purchased from Gregorie Loukianoff by Jean Capart for the Brooklyn Museum.
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragmentary, standing statue in dark grey stone of the overseer of all royal works, the chief of the treasury Ptah-hotep. Originally naophoros with naos supported by long, slender pedestal. Body clad in two garments, a shirt and long skirt. Persian torque around neck. Rear pillar inscribed with four columns of inscriptions. Condition: Poor. Head, base, feet hands naos lost. There are numerous scattered chips. Part of inscription missing. Left side of sculpture badly broken.
CAPTION Overseer of the Treasury, Ptahhotep, 521–486 B.C.E. Quartzite, 35 × 12 × 13 in., 252 lb. (88.9 × 30.5 × 33 cm, 114.31kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.353. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 37.353_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 37.353_PS9.jpg., 2018
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