Shabtis and  ancient Egypt
The Shabti Collections
The Amasis Collection
SHABTIS A Private View
Glenn Janes
Ptolemaic Period

During the Ptolemaic Period, the glaze on ushabtis is often quite thick. Sometimes the figures are made in bichrome glaze, usually two contrasting shades of blue - thus perhaps a pale blue for the torso and a deeper blue for the wig [165]. The wigs themselves, although being tripartite, are less voluminous and rarely show details of striations. Inscriptions are also sometimes highlighted in a darker blue but because of the thickness of the overall glaze the inscriptions are less defined than during the Late Period and sometimes difficult to read [166]. There was a general decline in the quality of the ushabtis and they gradually faded from use with the advent of Roman times.

There are a number of so-called pseudo-shabtis to be found in museum collections and also circulating on the art market from time to time. These are considered by a few Egyptologists to be from Roman times and apparently excavated in sites across Europe. They are apparently regarded as symbols associated with the cult of Osiris and Isis. They are made of pottery or plaster, are inscribed with meaningless inscriptions, always include a cartouche - usually for Thutmose III of the New Kingdom and carry flails instead of a pick and hoe [167]-[169]. These are widely considered to be 19th Century in date and made as souvenirs for those visiting Egypt on the Grand Tour. Similar figurines are made in Egypt for tourists to this day.
Select any group to enlarge
[165] [Tasherytnettekri] (Liverpool, WM 44.19.23)
[166] Illegible (Liverpool, WM
[167] Pseudo-shabti (Leeds, 2000.0014)
[168] Pseudo-shabti (Leeds, 1972.0118)
[169] Pseudo-shabti (Warrington, 1913.118 - acquired in Luxor in 1890)