Bronze Statuette of a Striding Harpocrates

Culture: Egyptian
Period: Ptolemaic period, 332-30 B.C.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 21 cm high
Price: 12 000 Euro
Ref: 1329
Provenance: French private collection acquired prior to 1973. Christie’s auction London on 1 October 2015, lot 163. Last private collection E.W., Vienna, Austria.
Condition: The legs broken at the height of the ankles and professionally reattached.
Description: The youthful god undressed in a striding position, the left foot put forward. He typically holds the index finger of his right hand in front of his mouth. On his head he wears the Double Crown of Egypt, flanked by two uraei, on the right the side-lock of youth cascading to his shoulder. The statuette standing on its original plinth with a tenon. During the Ptolemaic period Harpocrates formed together with Serapis and Isis a triad of gods who was especially worshipped in Alexandria. The gesture of placing the index finger to the mouth was not least interpreted by Plutarch as the gesture of silence which was adopted into the 20th century. In fact, it is now assumed that this should only represent the god's childhood because in ancient Egypt other signs were common for silence.