Kneeling statuette of King Amasis

Period: Late Period, Saite

Dynasty: Dynasty 26

Reign: reign of Amasis

Date: 570–526 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt

Medium: Bronze, precious metal inlay and leaf

Dimensions: h. 11 cm (4 5/16 in); w. 4.8 cm (1 7/8 in); d. 6 cm (2 3/8 in)

Credit Line: Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1935

Accession Number: 35.9.3


The childlike appearance of this kneeling statuette, with its large head, beautiful features, plump body, and short legs, is characteristic of some metal royal statues made during the Late Period, when the king was associated with juvenile gods such as Horus, son of Isis. This work, like the stone statuary from the reign of Amasis, testifies to the high level of artistry attained during his rule.

The figure is solid-the body, limbs, and attributes were all integrally cast. Precious-metal leaf once covered the king's nemes; additional embellishment was provided by inlaid inscriptions on the kilt flap and the belt in the back, in each case spelling out a different name of King Amasis. The inscriptions were executed at different times in the life of the statue, an earlier inscription on the back planned from the beginning, and a secondary inscription on the front of the kilt. No clear motive for adding a replacement inscription to an otherwise complete figure has thus far been recognized. Both forearms were damaged in antiquity, probably when the figure was wrenched from its base.