Plaque depicting a king offering wine

Historical period(s)
Possibly Ptolemaic Dynasty, 305-30 BCE
Soft limestone
H x W x D: 18.9 x 16.5 x 3.9 cm (7 7/16 x 6 1/2 x 1 9/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 20: A Collector’s Eye: Freer in Egypt
Sculpture, Stone

Figure: human

Egypt, man, Ptolemaic Dynasty (305 - 30 BCE)

To 1909
Maurice Nahman (1868-1948), Cairo, Egypt, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Maurice Nahman in 1909 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 158, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Maurice Nahman (C.L. Freer source) 1868-1948


Thin, rectangular plaques made of limestone, carved on one or both sides with figures in low relief, have often been interpreted as sculptors' models. They would have furnished patterns for artists to imitate, thus ensuring that the images or hieroglyphs carved on a tomb or temple wall would appear uniform in style and consistent in details even when executed by artisans trained in different workshops. 

Some plaques have raised borders incised at regular intervals. The markings were probably used to align a grid painted across the surface of the plaque. Artists could then outline the figure to be carved according to an established canon, or set of proportions, measured by means of the grid.

Published References
  • Georg Steindorff. Catalogue of the Egyptian Sculpture in the Walters Art Gallery. Baltimore. cat. 326A.
  • Robert Steven Bianchi. Ex - votos of Dynasty XXVI. vol. 35 Cairo. pp. 5-22.
  • Ann C. Gunter. A Collector's Journey: Charles Lang Freer and Egypt. Washington and London, 2002. p. 108, fig. 4.14.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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