Head of a nobleman (The Josephson Head)
Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret III
Reddish brown quartzite head of an official, with distinctive features of late dynasty 12, including large ears, heavily-lidded and sunken eyes, furrowed brow, hollow cheeks and downcurved mouth. Nose broken.
By 1947: said to be with dealer in Egypt (according to Jack A. Josephson was photographed at dealer's shop by J. Cooney, Curator from the Brooklyn Museum); by 1951: private collection of Ernest Kofler of Lucerne, Switzerland; February 12, 1986: purchased by Jack A. Josephson.
(Accession Date: May 21, 2003)
Partial gift of Magda Saleh and Jack A. Josephson and Museum purchase with funds donated by the Florence E. and Horace L. Mayer Funds, Norma Jean and Stanford Calderwood Discretionary Fund, Norma Jean Calderwood Acquisition Fund, Marilyn M. Simpson Fund, Otis Norcross Fund, Helen and Alice Colburn Fund, William E. Nickerson Fund, Egyptian Curator's Fund, Frederick Brown Fund, Elizabeth Marie Paramino Fund in memory of John F. Paramino, Boston Sculptor, Morris and Louise Rosenthal Fund, Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund, Walter and Celia Gilbert Acquisition Fund, Marshall H. Gould Fund, Arthur Mason Knapp Fund, John Wheelock Elliot and John Morse Elliot Fund, Miguel and Barbara de Bragança Fund, Brian J. Brille Acquisition Fund, Barbara W. and Joanne A. Herman Fund, MFA Senior Associates and MFA Associates Fund for Egyptian Acquisitions, and by exchange from an anonymous gift
Width x height x depth: 24 x 18.5 x 21 cm (9 7/16 x 7 5/16 x 8 1/4 in.) Width x height x depth (base): 16.5 x 16 x 14 cm (6 1/2 x 6 5/16 x 5 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Egypt: Sculpture and Tomb Chapels (Gallery 209)
Perfume bottle in the form of a trussed duck or goose
Late Period, Dynasty 26
Place of Origin: Egypt
The body of this slender vessel takes the shape of a plucked duck or goose bound with string and ready for cooking - a familiar theme in Egyptian art. During the Old Kingdom, some tombs were provided with life-size cases shaped like such birds with real food offerings inside, while other tombs contained miniature versions in solid stone. In the Middle Kingdom, perfume and ointment containers in the form of trussed ducks were carved in the beautiful blue stone anhydrite, and that tradition continued into the New Kingdom. This Late Period example, however, may owe as much to contemporary Aegean figural vases as it does to its Egyptian precedents. Like some Corinthian oil bottles, it rests horizontally on its belly (it will not stand unsupported), and has a handle in the form of an animal’s neck that curves back from the rim of the vessel so that the head rests on the body. The Egyptians loved such figurative vessels that were functional at the same time. The small size and narrow opening of this bottle would have been perfect for precious ointments or perfumes that were used only in small doses and needed to be protected from evaporation. The material from which the bottle is made, faience, is difficult to work. A nonclay ceramic manufactured from crushed sand and salt, and a colorant, it has none of the malleability of clay. The small size, fancy shape, subtle hues, and remarkably thin handle of this faience vessel make it a masterpiece in miniature.
By 1996: with Emanuel Tiliakos, Winchester, MA; 1996: purchased by the MFA from Emanuel Tiliakos.
(Accession Date: June 26, 1996)
Marilyn M. Simpson Fund
Bowl (dinos) depicting athletes training
about 430–420 B.C.
Manner of the Dinos Painter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Nude youths practice the javelin, boxing, long jump, and the discus throw. Two trainers wearing mantles and holding sticks observe them. A musician, playing a double-pipe (aulos) and wearing a sleeveless patterned tunic over a long-sleeved, similarly-patterned tunic, provides a rhythm for a javelin thrower. A cheek-strap (phorbeia) supports his instrument. Behind the musician, a starting post is painted white, probably to indicate stone.
A group of eleven youths train for athletic activities on the side of this dinos, while another youth plays the double-flute.
By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: "Can be traced to Athens."); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, October 1896
Catharine Page Perkins Fund
Tetradrachm of Gaza with head of Athena
about 400 B.C.
Mint: Palestine, Gaza
Obverse: Head of Athena wearing crested helmet to right.
On the helmet, three upright olive leaves and a palmette with scroll.
Reverse: Within incuse square an owl facing.
On either side of the head an olive sprig with two leaves and a berry.
Inscription at foot to right: similar to Greek letter theta; at left, uncertain letter.
By date unknown: Albert Sangorski Collection; by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; March 24, 1903: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren
Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900
Tetradrachm of Naxos with head of Dionysos
Early Classical Period
about 460 B.C.
Mint: Sicily, Naxos
Obverse: Head of bearded Dionysos, profile to right, wearing an ivy wreath.
Reverse: Bearded Silenos squatting facing, head left, with pointed ear and long tail. Nude, with body full front, head profile to left. He holds a kantharos with his right hand, and leans on his left.
Engraver: The Aitna Master.
By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; 1895: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 29,857.37 (this figure is the total price for MFA 95.9-95.174)
Catharine Page Perkins Fund