Plaque depicting a falcon, probably the god Horus

Historical period(s)
Saite Dynasty 26 or later, 664-525 BCE or later
H x W x D: 17.9 x 18.8 x 3.6 cm (7 1/16 x 7 3/8 x 1 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 20: A Collector’s Eye: Freer in Egypt


Egypt, falcon, Horus, Saite Dynasty 26 (664 - 525 BCE)

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]


[1] See Reserved Miscellaneous List, R. 5632, 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) and Custodian(s)

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


Thin, rectangular plaques made of limestone, carved on one or both sides with figures in low relief, have often been interpreted as sculptors' models. They would have furnished patterns for artists to imitate, thus ensuring that the images or hieroglyphs carved on a tomb or temple wall would appear uniform in style and consistent in details even when executed by artisans trained in different workshops.

The quality of carving on these plaques varies considerably, suggesting that some may have served as trial pieces for artisans practicing their skills. Still others may have functioned instead as votive objects offered in a temple by worshipers, with the carved image depicting the deity to whom they were dedicated.

Published References
  • Ann C. Gunter. A Collector's Journey: Charles Lang Freer and Egypt. Washington and London, 2002. p. 101, fig. 4.9.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.