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Shabty of Lady Sati

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
In the Egyptian view, this image of a woman has a male face and hands because they are colored red, the “male” color. This use of color magically transformed her into a male being. A red face and hands also identified the deceased with the sun-god, Re, who traveled in a boat across the sky by day and into the land of the dead at night. This woman’s “male” red skin gave her access to transportation to the next life in the god’s boat.

A shabty performed work assigned to the deceased in the next world. This shabty was made by a rare and expensive process using multiple colors of faience. It was likely a product of a royal workshop.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1390-1352 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 10 1/4 × 3 1/2 × 2 1/4 in. (26 × 8.9 × 5.7 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.124E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Polychrome glazed faience schwabti inscribed for the Lady Sati. The figure is mummiform with its arms folded across its chest. In each hand she holds a hoe, and a basket. Hoes and baskets are glazed blue, yellow, and red. The figure wears a broad collar glazed blue, yellow and red; and a tripartite wig with white and black striations. On the front half of the figure, from the waist down, are eleven lines of deep blue hieroglyphs. The figure itself is glazed white. Condition: Slight chips; otherwise good.
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