Ancient Greek Bronze Bell With Egyptian Osiris Statue Figure - 664 Bc For Sale

A veryrare ancient Greek bronze bell, with an ancient Egyptian bronze votive statue of Osiris used as the clapper! Dating to 664 - 323 B.C.

The unlikely pastiche is of ancient manufacture, rather than modern and shows that the ancient Greeks were quite prepared to recycle an Egyptian-made bronze effigy for use in a completely functional context.

Whether the bell was intended for religious, funerary or other functional reasons is not known.

An early 20th century collectors card originally affixed to the piece records that it was recovered from the Greek south Italian colony of Cumae during excavations.

The Osiris figure can be dated stylistically and would have been made in Egypt during the Late Period, approximately 664-323 - a date consistent with the one presumably established from the excavations and recorded on the collector's card. The statue would originally have been made as a votive gift to the god Osiris; gifted to the god in thanks for, or in anticipation of, a favor. The god is shown mummiform, holding the crook and flail with beard and atef crown. The suspension loop at the back would have enabled the figure to have been worn as an amulet in ancient times, for protection. The tang at the bottom would have enabled the piece to have been inserted into a wooden base where it would have stood upright.

How this votive depiction of Osiris came to be found in south Italy is quite remarkable. However, it is most unlikely that the Osiris could have been used in its current form by an ancient Egyptian, who would have seen the use of the statue as a clapper as a sacrilegious act.

Height: 3 1/8 inches.

Width: 3 7/8 inches.

Height of Osiris alone: 2 3/4 inches.

Condition: Unrestored. The top of the bell was either constructed in two sections or has been subject to an ancient repair. The bronze loop attachment, upper bell as well as the handle are all heavily patinated and have not been the subject of modern interference. A small hole on one side of the bell consistent with earlier attack of "bronze disease".


Ex. Collection of Mr. David Julius, acquired in the early 1900's.

Ex. North Carolina collection.

Ex. US sale house.

Please note: This is a genuine and rare ancient artefact. This piece is offered for sale without reserve to promote our extensive inventory of ancient coins and antiquities.

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Ancient Greek Bronze Bell With Egyptian Osiris Statue Figure - 664 Bc

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