Egyptian Stone Sculpture, ca. 390 BC

Value (2007) | $20,000 Retail$25,000 Retail

GUEST:
This is a piece that's a hand-me-down. My mother gave it to me, and...

APPRAISER:
And she got it from where?

GUEST:
She got it from my grandfather.

APPRAISER:
Your grandfather?

GUEST:
Yes, and he brought it from Egypt.

APPRAISER:
And do you know anything about it at all?

GUEST:
I know that it's dated 380 B.C., and that's all I know of it.

APPRAISER:
And have you shown it to anyone?

GUEST:
I showed it to an appraiser, and he told me it was worth $1,000.

APPRAISER:
Well, it is Egyptian.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Okay? And I'm, first of all, going to take this gently off here.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
Because we do have some really interesting information on the bottom.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
Underneath you'll see that it was bought probably by your grandfather from Mr. Blanchard in Cairo, and he was a very famous antiquities dealer. And, in fact, many of the pieces that are in museums today came via collectors who bought them from Mr. Blanchard. He was the dealer in Cairo at the time. On Mr. Blanchard's label, we can see that it says "Queen of Psammuthes." Psammuthes was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 29th Dynasty. He ruled circa 392 to 390 B.C.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Now, one thing that's really pleasing about this is that we don't have to worry about any antiquities laws. This piece came out before the law was brought out in 1983, which means that anything after 1983 is illegally exported from Egypt. So this is free and clear. It's marble.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And you can see that here, there is some place for inlay.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Which would have been probably paste, maybe a blue paste or something like that, and also on the eyebrows. It's a pity that we didn't have another inch on the top and probably two inches on the bottom. You can tell exactly who it is...

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
...whether she's in fact a queen or whether she is just one of the gods by the specific headdresses.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
But what is really interesting is... the back of the sculpture here has a line of hieroglyphs. They're barely recognizable.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
But at the very bottom here, you see there's an oval. Now, ovals usually contain the names of important people, sometimes royalty. And another half an inch on the bottom might have helped here.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
So... Hmm... But she's a wonderful sculpture. And it's about 380, 390 B.C. I think if we take it as it stands, I would be very comfortable with giving a retail price of $20,000 to $25,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
I think if you did some serious research on this and worked on the hieroglyphs, and if it was royal,

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
I think we'd be looking at a significantly higher figure. Sculpture which is royal is most desirable.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
So, what do you think?

GUEST:
I'm, I'm... I'm... I can't even speak. (chuckles) But it's very exciting to learn that, and... I'm glad to find out about it.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Anthony Slayter-Ralph Fine Art
Santa Barbara, CA
Appraised value (2007)
$20,000 Retail$25,000 Retail
Event
Orlando, FL (June 30, 2007)
Form
Sculpture
Material
Marble

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