Egyptian Head of Osiris

April 30, 2020


One of the interesting things about Instagram is the closeness created between the post and the viewer. Momentarily, we can hold an object in the palm of our hand and, rather magically, expand the view for more detail. Obviously it's just an image, a long way from holding an actual piece, but it's as close to intimate contact as some of us have experienced for weeks and are likely to for weeks more.

In this process there's also a faint shadow of our experience as dealers. Often we buy a piece and live with it for a while, maybe 18 months, 2 years. It can sit on our desks whilst we ask it questions, or maybe ignore it for a while, turn it to face another direction, research it and strike-up our own rapport. There's a dialogue set up, a strange word to use perhaps when most the pieces are thousands of years old and all of them 'mute', unspeaking, but the pieces challenge us to understand them, and from this, pleasure flows.

Here is a small head of the great god Osiris, first owned by us in 1970. When we bought it again last year it spent many weeks on my desk. I decided it needed remounting, a taller base, the face differently angled. I enjoyed its palpable monumentality, even though it's smaller than my iPhone's screen. I saw Egyptian art at its most refined: the eyebrows in slightly raised relief are exquisite, the extended eyelines delicious; the curves of the eyes, the mouth set in a slight smile cause a real shiver of pleasure, again and again. I've yet to grow tired of it.

Egyptian head of Osiris
Late Dynastic Period, 26th Dynasty, 664-525 BC
Height 10.7cm



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