Aberdeen charity hoping for Egyptian magic as items go to auction
Egyptian artefacts dating back thousands of years are set to be sold off at auction in aid of an Aberdeen charity.
The collection includes grave figurines from around 1070BC, Egyptian make-up palettes, jewellery, and pottery.
The items will be sold off in both London and Edinburgh next month by auction company Bonhams.
Cash from the sale will go to the charity Archway, which provides care and support to children and adults with learning disabilities and their families.
The items were all collected by an Aberdeen man, Major James Findlay, who was born in 1915 and passed away in 1990.
He had acquired the collection during the 1950s and 1960s, and they were passed on to his family after his death.
Among the collection is 11 Egyptian shabtis, also known as ushabti, which are funerary figurines used in ancient Egyptian religion. They date back to 1550-715 BC, and in auction could fetch up to £800.
Antiquities set to go for a higher price are vases and larger shabtis – which will be sold in London – and could fetch up to £1,200.
Other items include three figures of Osiris, the Egyptian ruler of the underworld, an amulet with the figure of Harpocrates, the god of silence, and of Anubis, the god of embalming the dead.
Amulets were usually worn and were believed to have magical or miraculous powers to protect its holder.
Among the more unusual items are some small bronze coins with a note inscribed: "m'money for the dead from Egyptian mummy case. Luxor, 1899".
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Kenneth Naples, an expert in antiques and head of home and interiors for Bonhams Scotland, said: "They are really interesting, it is not rare for us to sell the items on behalf of a charity, but having this type of item from this period is more rare in Scotland at least.
"Shabtis are items that would go alongside people in their graves when they die.
"It was a bit of a fad for a while, back in the 1920s, to buy Egyptian items.
"It would have been for those of a significant wealth, it would have been an expensive hobby.
"Some people even went across to Egypt to collect items.
"Some of the artefacts are of really good quality."
The sale also includes two Egyptian mummy wrapping bandages with spells.
The bandages date from a period when Egyptian mummies were unrolled in London in the 19th Century.
The Edinburgh auction takes place on June 26 and July 11, with the London sale on July 3.
For more information on the items and the sales go to: http://bit.ly/31uT56W
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