Falcon

Standing falcon. Black stone. Greek inscription.

Historical period(s)
Ptolemaic Dynasty, 305-30 BCE
Medium
Stone
Dimensions
H x W x D: 54.7 x 25.4 x 49.1 cm (21 9/16 x 10 x 19 5/16 in)
Geography
Egypt
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1909.141
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Figure: falcon

Keywords
Egypt, falcon, Ptolemaic Dynasty (305 - 30 BCE)
Provenance

To 1909
Maurice Nahman (1868-1948), Cairo, Egypt, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Maurice Nahman in 1909 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, S.I. 156, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Maurice Nahman (C.L. Freer source) 1868-1948

Description

Standing falcon. Black stone. Greek inscription.

Inscription(s)

1. (Professor J.S.F. Garnot, 1946) Greek inscription on base with name of Heracles and Aphrodite.

Label

Freer's purchases in Cairo in 1909 included "two great stone Hawks which would nobly defend my little group of Egyptian art when permanently housed."  The "hawks" are these two falcons, reportedly from a temple near Alexandria in the Nile Delta.

An important image of kingship, the falcon was the symbol of the Egyptian god Horus, whose earthly embodiment was the pharoah. The heads of the sculptures preserve the remains of an attachment for a headdress, probably the double crown symbolizing rule over both northern and southern Egypt.

The Greek inscriptions on the front of the bases mention the names of the Greek deities Herakles and Aphrodite.

Published References
  • Ann C. Gunter. A Collector's Journey: Charles Lang Freer and Egypt. Washington and London, 2002. p. 109, fig. 4.15.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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