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Ancient Egyptian art must be viewed from the standpoint of the ancient Egyptians to understand it.

The somewhat static, usually formal, strangely abstract, and often blocky nature of much Egyptian imagery has, at times, led to unfavorable comparisons with later, and much more ‘naturalistic,’ Greek or Renaissance art. However, the art of the Egy...

Ancient Egyptian art must be viewed from the standpoint of the ancient Egyptians to understand it.

The somewhat static, usually formal, strangely abstract, and often blocky nature of much Egyptian imagery has, at times, led to unfavorable comparisons with later, and much more ‘naturalistic,’ Greek or Renaissance art. However, the art of the Egyptians served a vastly different purpose than that of these later cultures.

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Egyptian  There are 35 products.

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  • Ushabtis

    During the Predynastic and Early Dynastic Period there is some evidence of the sacrificial burial of servants with the deceased.
    However, this practice was quickly seen as unnecessary and wasteful, and instead symbolic images of servants were painted inside tombs to aid the deceased in the afterworld.
    This practice developed into the use of small statuettes known as Ushabti.

    A Shabti is a small human figure representing a person who would perform a given task for the deceased in the afterlife.
    The Amduat(underworld) included tracts of land granted to the deceased by the sun god Ra from which the blessed dead could receive their nourishment.
    Unsurprisingly, wealthy nobles and royalty did not plan on doing any work themselves and so they would take their (symbolic) servants with them.
    Early versions were modelled to represent the task that they would perform and given tiny tools etc with which to complete their tasks.
    Later on Ushabtis were inscribed with a magical formula which would activate them.

  • Scarabs

    The image of the scarab beetle (Scarabeus sacer) is prominent in the royal funerary decoration of the New Kingdom (about 1550-1070 BC). After laying its eggs in a ball of dung, the scarab beetle rolls the ball before it wherever it goes. When the young beetles hatch they appear, apparently miraculously, from the dung. Thus to the ancient Egyptians the scarab beetle was a symbol of rebirth and represents the god Khepri, who was thought to push the sun disc through the morning sky, as a scarab beetle pushes its ball of dung.
    The scarab beetle was also an important amulet. It first appeared during the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC), and was often used as a seal, mounted on a ring, with an inscription on the flat underside. This use was extended to a funerary context during the Middle Kingdom and later, in the form of the 'heart scarab': a stone amulet in the shape of a scarab placed over the heart of the mummy. This too was inscribed on its underside, with chapter thirty of the Book of the Dead, a spell that prevented the heart from speaking out against the deceased at his or her judgement.

  • Amulets

    Egyptian amulets functioned in a number of ways. Symbols and deities generally conferred the powers they represent. Small models that represent known objects, such as headrests or arms and legs, served to make sure those items were available to the individual or that a specific need could be addressed. Magic contained in an amulet could be understood not only from its shape. Material, color, scarcity, the grouping of several forms, and words said or ingredients rubbed over the amulet could all be the source for magic granting the possessor's wish.

  • Bronzes

    Bronze figures are not particularly common before the Late Period (661-332 BC), but in that period and the following Greek epoch, they were a favoured form for the production of small votive figures for dedication in temples. Most were of deities or animals.

  • Wooden items

    Egypt did not have any great forests nor many tall trees. Its native timber was mostly of low quality and could only be cut into short planks. Acacia [6], carob [7], juniper [8], doum palm, sycamore [10] and some other local wood were used, hardwoods like ebony were imported from eastern Africa [5], and cedar and pine from the Lebanon

  • Stone items

    The heyday of Egyptian stone vessel production was the time between the late Naqada Period and the end of the Old Kingdom, when they produced large amounts of stone vessels and experimented with many different kinds of rock: glasses like volcanic obsidian imported from Turkey, gem stones such as carnelian, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, and amethyst, rock and quartz crystal, hard rock such as granite, chert, basalt or diorite and soft stone like limestone. Most of these materials were to a large extent abandoned after the end of the Old Kingdom, but limestone and Egyptian alabaster (travertine or calcite) remained popular throughout the pharaonic eraEgyptian stone vessels, some of them inscribed with pharaonic names, reached many parts of the levant. The oldest, dating to the Old Kingdom, have been found at Biblos, a trading partner since pre-dynastic times.

  • Pottery

    The ancient Egyptians used clay to form many items, but none were more common or necessary than the vessels for storing or serving food. Beginning in the early Predynastic Period (ca. 4500 B.C.) and continuing throughout Egyptian history, ceramic jars, often filled with food offerings, were regularly left in tombs. In addition, thousands of shards, the remains of everyday vessels, have been recovered from settlement sites such as el-Amarna, Kahun, and Deir el-Medina. Illustrations from tomb and temple walls also supply information on the variety and quantity of pottery containers used by the Egyptians.

    In the New Kingdom, typical food containers included large vessels, small jars, wide shallow bowls, small bowls, jugs, and cylindrical mugs; the shapes of each were somewhat variable. Large jars held grain, oil, beer, or perhaps wine, and immense storage jars have been found as well. Most of the large jars had pointed bases so that they could not stand on their own. Therefore, these vessels were placed either in holes in the mud floor of a house or in pot stands of clay or wood. Occasionally representations of these vessels show them simply leaning against a convenient wall. Wide shallow bowls bore food either in the kitchen or on a banquet table. Eggs, bread, fruits (including grapes, pomegranates, dates, and figs), vegetables (such as lettuce, onions, garlic, turnips, and beans), or butchered beef, fish, or fowl were often placed in these large bowls. Small jugs probably held beer, wine, or water at a table, whereas mugs and small bowls were employed as drinking glasses. Small jars are very common although what they contained is uncertain; most likely they functioned as a jug without a handle.

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