A heavy spherical Egyptian breccia stone macehead, pierced longitudinally for attachment to a wooden shaft. Maceheads of this shape have been found in Naqada I (4400 – 3500 BC) tombs and were later replaced by piriform maceheads. This item comes mounted on a custom wooden stand.
Maces were extensively used in Egypt and neighbouring Canaan from the middle of the 4th millennium BC to the middle of the 3rd. Using the mace required a rather great physical force; such weapons would have been slung around in battle to injure the enemy. In many places, even after its usage was abandoned by the military, it remained a symbol of power for the rulers. For instance, Karnak reliefs, Seti I was depicted on foot wielding a mace, smiting his enemies. They are common in Predynastic and Early Dynastic graves but their small size suggests a ritual or symbolic purpose rather than practical use.
Provenance: Ex Mayfair, London antiquities dealer.
Reference: Christie’s sale 2605, lot 102.
Christie’s sale 3403, lot 23.
Period: Predynastic Period, 4400-3500 BC (Naqada I)