An Ear to the Ground

While working in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I came across a beautifully carved ear in black obsidian that had come from a composite statue. The ear had been purchased by the Museum’s first Curator of Egyptian Art, Albert M. Lythgoe in Egypt during the winter of 1903-1904. He recorded that the ear had come from the famous Karnak cachette that had been discovered at that time. One of the few examples of obsidian sculpture that also came from that find was the obsidian face of the composite statue now in the Cairo Museum.

obsidian ear drawing 2
Obsidian Ear in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, BMFA 04.1941, drawing by Yvonne Markowitz

The scale of the ear in Boston fit the proportions of the Cairo face indicating that they were on the same sculpture. The style of the ear was identified by William Raymond Johnson as matching those from depictions of Amenhotep III.

Obsidian Face
Obsidian Face in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, CG4201
obsidian ear drawing
Obsidian Ear in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, BMFA 04.1941, drawing by Yvonne Markowitz)

Later on, remarkably I came across an obsidian fist in storage at the Worcester Art Museum which also seems to have come from the cachette and belonged to the composite statue of Amenhotep II.

For more on this, go HERE.

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