Egyptian white faience “Khaemwaset” Ushabti, New Kingdom, 1550-1069 B.C.

The ushabtis are small mummiform figures representing the deceased himself, whose name means "those who respond" because they would perform those works that were ordered by their lord in the afterlife The ushabtis arise in the Middle Empire, in the beginning were made of persea wood. Their rapid popularization caused them to start mass production, using other simpler techniques and less manuals to cover the demand. In some tombs you could find up to 365 for the day and 365 for the night, so that his lord, the deceased, did not lack help for all eternity. These ushabtis could be arranged in boxes or even one representing them all. These boxes became very common as they reinforced the magical power of the servants. The ancient Egyptians believed in the magic of sculptures and words, so for them these magical figures would accompany them to their eternal life and once there they would come to life and serve him faithfully. This Ushabti is of a character called Khaemwaset who carries his farm implements with a very characteristic hairstyle with a side ponytail. The fineness of the modelling as well as the inscriptions on the front of the figure, which stand out beautifully over the curious white fayenza, make this figurine a unique piece of Ancient Egypt.


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