Saturday, July 16, 2005

Sethikhopshjef II of Egypt

This image is of the ancient Egyptian Sethikhopshjef II. Named for the first-born human son of Ramesses II, Sethikhopshjef II was a regional governor of Upper Egypt’s toy empire during the Roman Occupation. Currently he resides in Room 69 of the British Museum. He is a classic example of the linen-and-papyrus figures created during that period; his excellent state of preservation is due to his former status as a highly-ranked government official.

The human museum’s description of Sethikhopshjef II is fairly accurate, with one glaring exception: The marble headdress was a symbol of rank and class, and did not denote gender. Other than this correction I shall not attempt to improve upon it further; I will simply post it (duly credited) for your perusal:

“This doll is fairly well-proportioned, and has a head and a body. The arms are made from a long roll of linen attached at the back. The doll is made of made of coarse linen and is stuffed with rags and pieces of papyrus. Coloured wool, now faded, was applied to parts of the face and body. The sex of the doll is unclear, although the presence of a small blue glass bead attached to the proper left side of the head suggests a hair ornament and therefore that it is probably intended to be female.”

I had an opportunity to speak with Sethikhopshjef II a few years back, and was saddened to see that his legendary intellect had not survived the millennia as well as his body. He told tales of gods and goddesses walking the Earth who forsook the human race and spoke only to their humble playthings. Although some toy researchers and historians have spent considerable time and effort researching these claims, I find them unlikely. Sethikhopshjef II seemed especially fixated on a terrifying deity he called “The God-King of Thunder.” The creature was said to wear a blood-red cap that appeared almost jovial compared to its razor-sharp teeth and reptilian appearance. Such a shame that Sethikhopshjef II, this great figure from history, should remarkably still be with us but have descended so far into senility.

For the humans’ version of Sethikhopshjef II’s origins, please click here.
As always, selecting the thumbnail image will reward you with a larger view.