Figure, modern tourist art, Anubis

Production date
Early 20th Century CE
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Object detail

Egyptian terracotta amuletic figure, representing a seated Anubis. The fabric is buff to orange with some areas of grey, particularly on the head and shoulders. The figure has upright ears and a pointed snout with almond shaped eyes. Around the neck a collar is suspended, consisting of long beads in a radial pattern. The chest is naked to the waist, where a long skirt decorated with vertical lines extends to the ankles.The arms are long and rest on the figure's knees, with poorly defined hands. The feet are poorly defined and sit on a small pedestal attached to the chair. The whole figure sits on a rectangular block. Some chipping and holes in the terracotta are evident.
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Egyptian figure
Production date
Early 20th Century CE
Production place
H94mm x W26mm x D55mm
Media/Materials description
History and use
In the First World War, many servicemen saw duty in foreign lands, collecting ancient items of material culture and sending these back to loved ones back home.

For the amateur soldier-archaeologist there were many opportunities to secure Egyptian antiquities. A short horse ride with a local guide to a rich gravesite, would secure a dozen scarabs after a few minutes of digging. Curios could be purchased from street sellers, authentic antiquities dug up from the desert sands, or faux objects ‘inspired’ by authentic pieces, such as large scarab paperweights.

Selling replicas as genuine antiquities has been big-business in Egypt for hundreds of years. At the start of the war the trade in Egyptian fake antiquities was large, and proved a decent money earner for street sellers in Egypt. The number of soldiers travelling through or training in Egypt would have been an absolute boon for the souvenir sellers, including those selling ‘genuine’ antiquities and faux objects ‘inspired’ by the genuine antiquities, such as this object.
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