Limestone Relief of the Lector Priest Idu

Culture: Egyptian
Period: Old Kingdom, 6th dynasty, 2347-2216 B.C.
Material: Limestone
Dimensions: 44 cm x 24 cm
Price: Sold
Ref: 1483
Provenance: French private collection Jean Deriat (1922-2016) acquired 1971. With the original certificate by Jean-Loup Despras from the gallery Orient-Occident, dated 27 March 1971. Thence in a family estate. Accompanied by a French antiquities passport.
Condition: Unrestored
Description: Large limestone relief from the Old Kingdom mentioning the name of the lector scribe Idu. Idu himself is depicted twice standing to the right. This in a row depiction of a tomb owner only emerges in the early 6th dynasty, which is why a very precise dating of the relief is possible. In both depictions he wears a neck collar and an apron knotted on his stomach, which ends above his knees and protrudes triangularly at the front. In his left hands he holds a staff. In the rear depiction he holds a sekhem sceptre in his right hand, a symbol of power in form of a baton, which is known since the Old Kingdom. He has a sash tied around his upper body. In the front depiction he holds a cloth with his hanging right hand. The figures are separated by very finely worked out vertical hieroglyphic inscriptions. They mention the name Idu and the title “lector priest”, a high-ranking position, which was known in ancient Egypt as “Cheri-hebet”. Lector priests accompanied funerary ceremonies with chanting, prayers and litanies, but were also asked for private apotropaic cults. Today there are more than 20 known persons with the name Idu from the Old Kingdom. Anyway, Idu of the present relief is so far unknown, he is probably a priest for the death cult of a pyramid complex. From Giza. Mounted.