One of the highlights of the next Antiquities sale is a very rare Egyptian bronze figure of the child god IHY.
Often depicted holding the ancient Egyptian instrument the Sistrum, the child deity Ihy personifies jubilation and music. He was worshipped in the temple complex at Dendera as one of the triad of Deities alongside his mother, Hathor and father, Horus. Although his name is not seen outside the temples, he is mentioned in the ‘Coffin Texts ’ as a good into which the deceased transform. Evidence of his worship at Dendera, however, is seen in his depiction in the wall engravings where he is pictured with his arm outstretched holding the sistrum. He is also depicted nude, with his finger to his lips, and with a sidelock, features which all indicate that he is a child. Many child deities were depicted in this way and thus the outstretched arm clasping the instrument is often used to set Ihy apart from other child deities.
A statuette of Ihy, therefore, is hard to come by. Perhaps the most famous representation of Ihy in this way is a wooden statuette found in the tomb of Tutankhamun which is now housed in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. Another example was offered at Christie's London on the 15 April 2015 as lot 163.
Another example is soon to come on to the market. The statuette is not made of wood but is a bronze standing at 16cm tall. In this statuette, Ihy is depicted wearing the double crown with his arm outstretched which would have once held out the now-missing sistrum. The face is finely detailed with the individual features clearly recognisable and boasts silver inlay eyes.
It will be offered with an estimate of £5,000-7,000 as part of our forthcoming Antiquities and Tribal Art sale on the 14 September 2016.