ostracon ancient art
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Egyptian Lantern-holder Slave Boy, Published 1921, 2nd-1st Century BC

Lantern-holder slave boy seated on a bench, his lantern on the ground.
 
The boy looks resigned and sleepy, arms and legs crossed, his chin resting on his right hand. He waits for his master at the door of the house where he will spend part of the night to banquet and have fun.
 
The burden of endless waiting, the irritation of half-sleep, is treated with realism and humor and pleasantly portrayed.

Once the reveller comes out, he will have to light his way home, and probably support his drunken master.

The theme is mentioned in ancient literature and was particularly popular in the Hellenistic period. For an example of a reveller and his slave boy, cf. British Museum EA37561.

Ex Daniel Fouquet (1850-1914) collection, published as item no. 74, p. 19, pl. 80 (lower left) in: Paul Perdrizet. Les terres cuites grecques d’Égypte de la collection Fouquet. Paris 1921. (copy of the publication record joined)

Superb Hellenistic style, excellent modeling. Made of two halves with vent holes behind. Old ink inscription reading 2564. Neat fingerprints on the back.

Missing shard out of the back side reconstituted with additional vent hole on top. Front side covered with a red coat. Sinter deposits.

H. 9.4 cm (3.7 in), H. with stand 10.9 cm (4.3 in)

Ex collection of Dr. Daniel Fouquet, Cairo, around 1900.

Sold 2450 USD


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