Ancient Egypt, Third Intermediate to Late Dynastic Period, ca. 1070 to 332 BCE. A beautiful fragment of a false door or lintel consisting of a recessed central panel surrounded by two columns and one upper register of inscribed hieroglyphs. The right-most periphery is decorated with a broad, incised sawtooth motif that would have wrapped around the lateral and upper borders of the false door. This fragment was perhaps painted in vibrant colors when adorning the interior of a tomb, though no traces of such coloration remain. The upper register reads, "Revered one," and the interior column reads, "Revered one, who is in . . ." and signify that this individual was perhaps a priest. The right-most column reads, "The Osiris, Mereri" above an image of the decease facing to the left. Size: 11.2" W x 17.6" H (28.4 cm x 44.7 cm); 18.7" H (47.5 cm) on included custom stand.
Egyptian lintels and doorways were often heavily decorated with iconography that reinforced the religious and ruling ideals of elites in Egyptian society. For example, many of these had their hieroglyphs deliberately destroyed when they referred to a past ruler who the current ruler wanted to refute.
Provenance: private Hagar collection, Wildwood, Missouri, USA; ex-private North Carolina, USA collection, acquired in the 1980s
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This is a fragment of a larger false door. Nicks and abrasions to hieroglyphs, obverse, peripheries, and verso, with minor softening to some hieroglyphs and standing figure, and light encrustations, otherwise intact and excellent. Great earthen deposits and legible hieroglyphs.