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Shabti Unveiled!

Tuesday 7 December, 6.30pm
Friends of the Nicholson Collection are exclusively invited to see one of our newest acquisitions, hear its stories ancient and modern, and join us for refreshments.

In mid-2021, the Nicholson Collection received a new donation of a remarkable shabti, painted with gold and named Senseneb, after an elite Egyptian woman who lived in circa 1550BC. It was discovered in 1908 during excavations of the tomb of Tetiky, Senseneb’s son, in the Theban Valley by Lord Carnarvon. This was the excavation that marked the beginning of Carnarvon’s 20-year partnership with Howard Carter which culminated in the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. 

The shabti was acquired by Maximillian Preston (born Pollark) in 1926/27 in return for an act of honesty. When he bought a cupboard at Sotheby’s auction house, the owner had unwittingly included a small collection of Egyptian antiquities. Preston discovered the cabinet previously belonged to Lord Carnarvon’s son, who inherited his father’s estate Highclere and the family collections after the Egyptologist died in Cairo in 1923, who upon re-collecting the artefacts, offered one to Preston as a reward.

Join us for an evening of discovery as Candace Richards and Dr Eve Guerry trace the ancient and modern history of Senseneb’s shabti and reveal the family ties that bind the tales of this shabti together across millennia. This lecture will be followed by refreshments and an exclusive chance to view the shabti and the Nicholson Galleries after hours.

Event details 

An exclusive event for Friends of the Nicholson Collection and their guests

Tuesday 7 December, 6.30pm

Cost $40 per person 

Purchase tickets  - tickets go on sale 9am, Thursday 11 November.

The lecture will be held in the Nelson Meers Foundation Auditorium, beginning promptly at 6:30pm, with refreshments and time to view the shabti to follow.


Featured image: Shabti and model coffin, for Senseneb, 1550–1525 BC, Thebes Egypt. Donated by Suzanne Harris, 2021. Nicholson Collection, NM2021.128