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: Fragment: A young bird in low relief

Fragment: A young bird in low relief

Figure: animal
Historical period(s)
Dynasty 26, 664-525 BCE or later
Soft limestone
H x W x D (overall): 11 x 10.7 x 1.7 cm (4 5/16 x 4 3/16 x 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Fragments such as this one carved in low relief have been identified as "sculptor's trials" or "sculptor's models," and were used in Egypt from the Third Dynasty to Ptolemaic times. The reliefs were used to aid sculptors in instructing apprentices about the canonical Egyptian grid. The models are often "framed" by L-shaped borders, which could have been used as depth measures. The human subjects of the sculptor's models were most often idealized versions of royal heads with headcloths or uraeus crowns. The animals used in hieroglyphic writing (the alphabet and royal titularies) were most commonly modelled.

To 1908
Michel Casira, Cairo, to 1908 [1]

From 1908 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Michel Casira, Cairo, in 1908 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Micellaneous List, S.I. 58, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Michel Casira (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Sculpture, Stone
bird, Egypt, Saite Dynasty 26 (664 - 525 BCE)
Collection(s) Area
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

We are excited to reopen the Freer on October 7, 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors.
The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.