Black steatite sculpture of a male wearing a kilt, probably the owner of the tomb. The back pillar bears the beginning of the offering formula. This piece was formerly part of the Grenfell collection purchased by Sir Henry Wellcome at auction in July 1920 and the sale catalogue states that it comes from Aswan. Similar statues were placed in tombs and in temples during the Middle Kingdom but this small statue probably comes from a tomb.
Male figures wearing these long, high waisted kilts were first introduced during the 12th Dynasty and the figures with hands flat against kilts in the later Middle Kingdom. Two tabs are indicated at the waistband. The dark stone and lack of detail is typical of the period. The left foot is placed slightly forwards as on other statues.
Field Marshall Francis Wallace Grenfell (1841-1925) was an Egyptologist who commanded troops in Aswan around 1885. Between 1885 and 1886 he opened a number of Old to Middle Kingdom tombs in this area. The inscriptions in these tombs show that they belonged to commanders of troops who organised expeditions to Nubia. It is possible that this statue comes from one of those tombs.
As Grenfell was brought up in Maesteg House he seems to have been interested in Swansea and presented a number of Egyptian items to the Swansea Royal Institution (now the home of the Swansea Museum). Among these items was the coffin of the priest Hor, which can be seen on display in the museum.
This item is published in Malek et al. (1999, no. 801-445-620).
Other items in the Egypt Centre probably collected by Grenfell include:
Bourriau, J. 1988. Pharaohs and Mortals. Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Malek, J., Magee, D. and Miles, E. 1999. Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings, VIII, Objects of Provenance Not Known, Part 1. Royal Statues. Private Statues (Predynastic to Dynasty XVII). Oxford: Griffith Institute.
Russmann, E.R. 2001. Eternal Egypt. Masterworks of Ancient Egyptian Art from the British Museum. London: British Museum Press.