Seated male figure, inscribed

Statuette: a seated male figure. Clay: soft, dense, white. Glaze: pale green-blue, partially disintegrated. Two inscriptions.

Historical period(s)
Nubian Dynasty 25 or Saite Dynasty 26, Late Kushite to early Saite Dynasty, 664-525 BCE
Faience (glazed composition)
H x W x D: 15.8 x 7.5 x 9.7 cm (6 1/4 x 2 15/16 x 3 13/16 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
Faience, Sculpture


Egypt, hieroglyph, man, Nubian or Kushite Dynasty 25 (ca. 760 - 656 BCE), Saite Dynasty 26 (664 - 525 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, Cairo, in 1909 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1987, 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


Statuette: a seated male figure. Clay: soft, dense, white. Glaze: pale green-blue, partially disintegrated. Two inscriptions.


From original folder sheet note #7 [see note #7 for more discussion on this inscription] (H.E. Buckman, 1964) The following undated note had been made by Dr. John D. Cooney of the Brooklyn Museum: Squatting sculpture of the Divine Father (a priestly title) Ser-Dhuty. Probably about Dynasty XXV-XXVI. The inscription incised in five columns on front of the statue reads: "An offering which the king gives and Osiris, lord of Djedu, the great god, lord of...May they give funerary offerings of bread, beer, oxen, fowl, incense, clothing, and every good and pure thing to the soul of the revered one, the Divine Father, Ser-Dhuty, the son of the priest of Anubis, Ser-Dhuty (son of) Djed-hor-iwef-ankh."


Statues of this general type, known as block statues, appeared in Egypt as early as the Middle Kingdom (ca. 1980–1630 B.C.E.).  Hieroglyphic texts carved on the front, sides, and back of the statues consisted of standard offering formulas, which asked anyone who read the text to make offerings for the benefit of the deceased.  Placed in tombs, or more commonly in temples, the statues magically bestowed the offerings necessary in the afterworld.  The form of the statue forced the viewer to focus on the face of the deceased and the accompanying texts.

Published References
  • John D. Cooney. Glass Sculpture in Ancient Egypt. vol. 2 Corning, New York. pp. 35-36, figs. 27-28.
  • Ann C. Gunter. A Collector's Journey: Charles Lang Freer and Egypt. Washington and London, 2002. pp. 107, 130, figs. 4.13, 5.5.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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