Ancient Egyptian sacred ibis bird having a solid black glass body with incised tail feathers and carved rounded front wing edges. The ibis is fitted with a cast bronze neck and head having a long curved beak, and nicely detailed legs and feet. Bronze has a nice scattered blue-green surface patina over a red-brown oxide ground. Both legs and head have been reset into the glass body, loss to some toes, otherwise intact. Come on a custom Lucite block base. Dates to the Late Period; 664-343 BC. Measures 3.25” height x 5” in length.
Private New York collection, Ex. Aweidah Gallery Ancient Art
For reference: Sotheby's June 6th 2006. Lot 87. Egyptian statue of an ibis in bronze with blue glass past inlay .Measured: 8 7/8 inches long. Late Period, 664-30BC . Had an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000 and sold for $108,000.00
In ancient Egypt, the sacred ibis was regarded as an incarnation of Thoth, god of writing and knowledge. Thoth was often depicted engaged in some act of recording or calculation. In the Book of the Dead, he enters the results of the weighing of the heart of the deceased against the feather of truth. The long, curved beak of the ibis may have been identified with the reed pen. This unusually large ibis has elegant proportions and animation. He sits forth on two long legs of cast bronze. His clawed feet and curved beak create an impression of strength and purpose. The cult of Thoth was especially popular in late Egyptian dynasties, leading to the creation of exceptional statues and amulets. This masterwork is remarkable for its rare glass body as most are found in wood or bronze. Its imposing composition will make this stand out in any collection.