Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

Statuette of Seneb

Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, mid-Dynasty 12, ca. 1897–1839 BC

Small wooden statues representing the deceased often were placed in tombs during the period of the late Old Kingdom and into the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2400–1800 BC) in Egypt. The highly skilled artist who carved the statue of the 12th Dynasty official named Seneb did such fine work that the richly striated wood grain matches every curve of the figure’s arms, legs, chest, and head. Painted details are kept to a minimum, enhancing the figure’s directness and power; nevertheless, finger- and toenails were not overlooked. The plinth is plum-colored like others found in Middle Egypt. It is inscribed in black ink telling us that Seneb received royal favor. Stylistically, there is no doubt that Seneb’s statuette was carved after the powerful Mentuhotep II (ca. 2055–2004 BC) reunified Egypt following years of political instability. It is fine work done under 12th Dynasty kings (likely Senwosret II or Senwosret III). Little wonder then that Seneb’s figure embodies so much strength and, despite its rigid pose, projects a self-assured élan.


Painted wood (probably sycamore)

H 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm)

The Estate of Virginia B. Landensohn; Ms. Lisa Sardegna and Mr. David A. Carrillo; Martin I. and Margaret J. Zankel and Herbert and Jan West; The Chickering Endowment; Friends of Ian White; The Michael Taylor Trust; Volunteer Council Acquisition Fund; Diane B. Wilsey; Charlotte and Rolf Scherman; Ancient Art Council; Dr. and Mrs. Bernard von Bothmer; Teresa Keller Tilden and Douglas Tilden; Sheila Wishek, in memory of Cathleen A. Keller; Ancient Art Trust Fund; Richard Benefield and John Kunowski; Gretchen Turner; Colin B. Bailey and Alan P. Wintermute; Elizabeth D. Moyer, PhD, and Michael C. Powanda, PhD; Rajnikant and Helen Desai; Eunice Baek and Thomas Garrity; Tim and Peggy Brown; Phoebe Cowles; Mrs. George Hopper Fitch; Maurice W. Gregg; Anthony and Susan Hardy; Skot Jonz; Peter and Lindsay Joost; Arielle Kozloff, in honor of Renée Dreyfus; Millicent and Megan Rutherford, John Klopacz and Richard Wilson, and Donald and Louise Heyneman, in memory of John Rutherford; Françoise and Andrew Skurman; and additional donors


This was the first time the Ancient Art Council resorted to crowd sourcing to acquire an art object. Over 180 contributors came to our rescue—Ancient Art Council members and others who donated generously. We are and will always remain grateful to this group, who helped us keep our 4,000+-year-old Egyptian in San Francisco.


Estate of Virginia B. Landensohn

Ms. Lisa Sardegna and Mr. David A. Carrillo


Chickering Endowment

Michael Taylor Trust

Friends of Ian White

Martin I. and Margaret J. Zankel and Herbert and Jan West


Ancient Art Council

Charlotte and Rolf Scherman

Volunteer Council Acquisition Fund

Dr. and Mrs. Bernard von Bothmer

Diane B. Wilsey


Teresa Keller Tilden and Douglas Tilden

Sheila Wishek, in memory of Cathleen A. Keller



Ancient Art Trust Fund

Eunice Baek and Thomas Garrity

Colin B. Bailey and Alan P. Wintermute

Richard Benefield and John Kunowski

Tim and Peggy Brown

Phoebe Cowles

Rajnikant and Helen Desai

Mrs. George Hopper Fitch

Maurice W. Gregg

Anthony and Susan Hardy

Skot Jonz

Peter and Lindsay Joost

Arielle Kozloff, in honor of Renée Dreyfus

Elizabeth D. Moyer, PhD, and Michael C. Powanda, PhD

Françoise and Andrew Skurman

Gretchen Turner


Matilda Alperton

Pierre and Patricia Bikai

Joseph and Maureen Blumenthal

California Classical Association-North

Elisabeth Cornu

Patricia Covert

Marshall and Joan Foster

Jeffrey and Jessica Gaynor

Richard and Julia Geist

Margaret Gordon

Mickey Griffin

Ellen Harden

Donald and Louise Heyneman, in memory of John Rutherford

Alexander and Betty Hollett

Andrea Husby

Eloise Jonas

Paula Katz

Jeffery Kessell

John Klopacz and Richard Wilson, in memory of John Rutherford

Mary Lannin

George and Angela Lebedeff

Frank and Julie Mann

Peter and Helene Marchant

Phil and Elaine Pasquini

Patricia Perry and Stephen McPhee

Louise Renne

Megan Rutherford, in memory of John Rutherford

Millicent Rutherford, in memory of John Rutherford

Xenia Sanders

Pauline Schwartz

Katharine Snyder and Michael Howard

Abraham D. and Marian Scheuer Sofaer

Martha M. Steen

David Stronach

Steven and Susan Sullivan

Norma Tomlinson

Bruce and Fran Walker

Klaus and Ellen Werner

Harold and Moreland Whitbeck

Dolores Whiteside and Harry Hicks

Betty Winkelman

Darlis Wood and Andrew Stewart

Donors through Zahi Hawass lecture ticket sales:

Mark Applebaum

Heide Betz

Dennis Bradley

Timothy Brown

Lucy Buchanan

A. J. Cave

Phoebe Cowles

Marc Cruciger

Amy de Rouvray

Sandra Deckinger

Sigrid Dedo

Michael Eisler

Judy Ellman

Richard Euren

George Freeborn

Barbara A. Gardner

Jeannie Goldman

Gillian Hood

Mary Jie

Giselle Jurkanin

Lee Karney

Paula Katz

Charles Kemppe

Dawn Landes

Tim Lane

Mary Lannin

Jane Lurie

Holland Lynch

Mary Marchetti

Pam Martori

Myron Marx

Lore McGovern

Diana McNutt

Cynthia Metcalfe

Merry Molvik

Karen Moore

Michael Powanda

Margaret Rinkevich

Jonathan Seagle

Tanya Shepley

Matthew Simis

Marian Sofaer

Krista Swami

Stephen Tannas

Douglas Tilden

Andrea Topper

Felicia Tudal

Howard Zumsteg

Explore the Collection

Egyptian Collection


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Thank you for helping us acquire our first Egyptian royal portrait—a carved limestone relief of Ptolemy I Soter

Ancient Art Council supports Antiquities at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.



Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave

This exhibition reveals how, before Mount Vesuvius blew up in AD 79 and rocked the Bay of Naples, people in Pompeii and nearby farms and villages were engaged in typical daily activities, many of which revolved around food and drink.

Dates TBD