An Egyptian bronze atef crown ostrich feather, c. 664-30 B.C.

An Egyptian bronze atef crown ostrich feather, c. 664-30 B.C.

Code: 2670


Description: A bronze atef crown ostrich feather surmounting a rams horn extending outwards and with an adjoining rearing uraeus. Two rectangular tangs on one side for attachment and with a double uraeus pendant suspended from a loop below the rams horn. The ostrich feather striated and the uraei with recesses for inlay, with some red inlay remaining in the solar disc of one uraeus and traces of gilding. The feather with a dark green brown patina and patchy green and white encrustation.

Size: 89 mm/3.5 ins. high

Culture: Egyptian

Date: Late Period to Ptolemaic, 664-30 B.C.

Provenance: Previously in the private collection of Werner Forman (1921-2010).

Background: Werner Forman was an eminent photographer, widely considered to be one of the world's foremost photographers of archaeological sites and ancient, oriental and primitive art. He was born in Prague in 1921 and dedicated himself to photography while still in his teens. During the Nazi occupation he documented for the Resistance atrocities in the Theresienstadt concentration camp at Terezin, Czechoslovkia, eventually spending time in German labour camps himself. After the war he worked as a photographer for the Czech State Airline. Later he specialised in photographing artworks and archaeological sites, ultimately photographing sites, cultural monuments and objects in over 55 countries, amassing a huge photographic archive that has become a valuable resource for publishers worldwide. Around 80 books have been published illustrated solely with his photographs. During his career he also assembled an extensive and somewhat eclectic private collection that included antiquities, Islamic, Indian, Tribal and Asian art. He sourced his collection from dealers and auction houses worldwide from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Notes: This ostrich feather would have originally adorned the crown of a sizeable wooden Osiris figure.