The piece has been carbon dated to c. 2250 BC Late Old Kingdom.
File of material relating to a figure of a man. Includes photocopy of information card with photocopy of image of object (date unspecified). States that object is Egypt. Annotation (31 January 1996) states that object was subject to testing to establish its date of creation; letter (2 December 1952) from Bernard V. Bothmer, Department of Egypt Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to Gertrude Hunt, Lough Gur, Holy Cross, Kilmallock, county Limerick. Writes that he is puzzled about present object. The figures hair looks Greek to him. Also, that he will ask his brother for an opinion on the figure. Brother is an associate curator of Greek and Roman art in New York (institution unspecified); further letter from Bothmer to Gertrude Hunt (10 December 1952) in which he writes that it is his brothers opinion that the figure is Greek. Also, he has forwarded photographs of the figure to Gisela M.A. Richter, a former curator of Greek and Roman art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; incomplete letter (it is torn) late 1952-early 1953 from Bothmer to Gertrude Hunt, that he has had a letter from Richter who thinks the object is not purely Greek, but may have been made by an Egypt in Greek times; letter (12 March 1971) from Alan W. Johnston, Department of Classics, University College Dublin, to John Hunt, Senior. Writes, 'The wooden kouros is unique to my knowledge; as you know, some other wooden statuettes were found at Samos just before the war, but are now no longer. One or two other pieces have been found there since. Yet none of them are kouroi.' Proposes to write a paper about the present object; further letter (24 May 1973) from Johnston, Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin, to John Hunt, Senior, in which he writes that the Professor of Egyptology, University College London, has ruled out any possible Egypt origin, so it remains unique. Suggests it might be instructive to have a carbon 14 test done on the wood; further letter (15 June 1973) from Johnston to John Hunt, Senior, relating to how such a test might be done on the figure; letter (26 June 1973) from Johnston to John Hunt, Senior, thanking him for parting with sample of wood from the figure for testing; letter (13 August 1974) from Johnston to John Hunt, Senior, giving results of British Museum testing of the wood. The wood is dated to circa 2100-160 B.C.; letter (30 August 1974) from Johnston to John Hunt, Senior, that he got back the sample from the British Museum and sent it to Kew from where he has had a response. Quotes from this response: 'agrees in structure with the Acacias. It is of the type with confluent to banded parenchyma and broad rays, represented in our reference collection by Acacia negevensis, A. seyal and A. tortilis distributed in areas from North Africa to Israel.' Johnstons interpretation of this is that the piece is basically Egypt of the early second millennium which has been reworked. He does not think the reworking is modern but an ancient reworking would be unusual; letter (5 December 1974) from Johnston to John Hunt, Senior, that he agrees with Hunts assessment of the piece but that it will be difficult to convince the scientists that their carbon 14 dating is 'so wildly wrong (working on a stylistic date of about 480 BC), and the fact that the wood is Acacia does emphasise an Egypt origin. However, the style cannot be Egypt, and as you say, it is difficult to see how there could be any modern reworking, other than the obvious patch'; postcard (date unspecified) from Johnston to John Hunt, Senior, enclosing copy of paper about present object to be published in 'Antiquity.' Comments on postcard that he has not come down strongly in any direction, but hopes to have suggested that it is probably Greek; postcard from Johnston, to John Hunt, Senior. Wonders if he has seen the 'Antiquity' article yet (c. 27 June 1975); reprint of paper by Alan Johnston entitled 'Greece and Egypt: a knotty problem' published in 'Antiquity,' and relating to present object c. June 1975; ten black and white photographs of object (dates unspecified); two photographic negatives of object (dates unspecified); photocopy of extract from 'Wood Statues of the Old Kingdom: a typological study' (Cologne: Brill-Styx, 2001) by Julia Harvey. Contains images of similar figures; also present are photocopies of several of the letters from Alan Johnston to John Hunt, Senior, and from Bernard V. Bothmer to Gertrude Hunt, as well as photocopy of Johnstons paper. Two letters in this file also mention other objects in the Hunt Collection. In letter (2 December 1952), Bernard V. Bothmer to Gertrude Hunt, writer also mentions two other objects held by Hunt. They are a lions head which he dates to the Late Period. Notes there are several examples of this type in European museums as well as in the Cairo museum. Also mentions a 'green head fragment' of which Professor Muller, University of Munich, has written his first impressions. Attributes it to the New Kingdom. The formation of eyebrows seen in the object have never been observed on Old Kingdom of Middle Kingdom heads thus far; in incomplete letter (torn) c. late 1952-early 1953, Bothmer writes that he has corresponded further with Muller who now dates it to the Middle Kingdom, possibly to Dynasty XIII. In letter (24 May 1973) from Alan Johnston, Department of Archaeology, University College London, to John Hunt, Senior, mentions the Syracusan decadrachm in Hunts collection (registration number MG 034). Johnston writes of it that 'it is certainly the oldest extant example of the "30 pieces."'
Place of collection
Statue of a male figure | wood | 6th century BC,Classical Greek,Archaic Greece | The Hunt Collection | PD