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  • image S135

The God Khnum

XXVth Dynasty

Bronze, cast solid

Height: 25.5cm

Museum number: S135

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 23help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

A figure of the god Khnum, the creator, god of the Cataract district, with a ram-head. Standing, right hand clenched, arm hanging down; left arm flexed at elbow, the hand holding a staff is now broken off. Headdress: wig with lappets over the shoulders, horizontal horns (now broken off), circlet with disc and uraeus in front, crown of Upper Egypt surmounted by disc.

The left arm appears to have been cast separately and inserted by mortise-and-tenon joint camouflaged with metal. The horizontal horns, characteristic of this god, were perhaps attached in the same way. The crown shows its origins as a sheaf of corn.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded; in Soane's collection by c.1826 as it appears in a woodcut vignette published in John Britton, Union of Architecture, Sculpture and Painting, 1827, p.31. Britton refers to them (Union, p. 50) as follows: 'there are many other relics of Egyptian antiquity in this collection, some of which are represented in page 31, in union with other grotesque figures from Hindostan, the Gold Coast &c. The objects delineated in the wood-cut are small bronze figures, grouped by the artist. They represent some of theose monsters which men in a half civilized state first designed and then worshipped....'. [Helen Dorey, 2011]

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk