Saint Louis Art Museum

Statue of God Nefertem

Statue of God Nefertem

This may have been a statue from a temple of Nefertem. Large silver statues are very rare in ancient Egypt. The god of perfume, Nefertem, was also a god of healing who was said to have eased the suffering of the aging sun god Re with a bouquet of sacred lotus. Nefertem therefore not only...

Mummy Mask of Kay-neferwy

Mask of Kay-neferwy

This mummy mask of Kay-neferwy has an extraordinary presence with its combination of glass inlaid eyes, gilt face with shimmering, almost lifelike translucence, and realistic wig. The craftsman who fashioned the wig out of thick resin carefully cut and modeled the plaits of hair in the latest style. The red “gold” coloring of her skin-a...

Statue of a Seated Vizier

Statue of a Seated Vizier

This seated figure’s rank of vizier is confirmed by the cord around his neck from which his official badge or seal would have been suspended. The seal would have been tucked into his kilt for safekeeping. Carved from anorthosite gneiss (also known as Khafre diorite, the material associated with the Old Kingdom king Khafre), the...

Silver Statuette of a Kneeling Ptolemaic King

Statuette of a Kneeling Ptolemaic King

As the chief intermediary between gods and men, the Egyptian king is often shown kneeling in adoration. This silver statuette was undoubtedly part of a group composition in which the king faced a larger figure of a god. Temple inscriptions suggest that for much of Egypt’s history, silver was valued more highly than gold. However,...

Egyptian Faience Statuette of a Hippopotamus

Faience Statuette of a Hippo

This statuette of a hippo was molded in faience, a crushed quartz glazed and fired at a relatively low temperature. Copper salts in the glaze impart the bright blue or blue-green color so characteristic of faience objects. Over the animal’s naturalistic shape, the craftsman painted lily plants that appear as a giant tattoo. Small sculptures...