December’s curiosity of the month is an Egyptian shabti. It is one of six on display in the museum: five can be glimpsed in the Boyd Dawkins Study and the other one is in the Cabinet of Curiosity in the Georgian Room.
Their role in these displays is one of set-dressing, to give the visitor a glimpse into the life of a Georgian collector or Edwardian gentleman. It is not until you get up close that you really appreciate the detail and glazes of these pieces, which were made thousands of years ago.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Egyptomania swept through the Country due to the discoveries found during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.
This love of all things Egyptian has shaped a very Derbyshire product and we have many Ashford Black Marble obelisks in the collection, some of which have nonsensical hieroglyphics – a perfect fashion statement for any Victorian parlour.