The only of the Egyptian god Ammon extant, with the Ram’s head on a human body
This figure of the Egyptian god Ammon, being a monument of considerable importance in the history of the art, has already been described in the preliminary dissertation to this volume, Sect. 5; and an explanation of the symbols of the Ram, &c. of which it is composed, will be given in the preliminary dissertation to the next.
It was brought from Egypt by the late Duc de Chaulnes; who said that he had purchased it at Cahira of a person who had brought it from the Thebaide; and the preservation of all that has not been destroyed or injured by violence, is such as might be expected from that dry region; the surface being exactly as it came from the tool of the artist, without any appearance of decomposition or incrustation.
All that is represented in the print is ancient, except the base on which the figure sits; upon which a representation is given, from a medal of Myndus in the cabinet of Mr. Payne Knight, of the sort of ornament which originally decorated the head, and of which the component symbols will be explained in the preliminary dissertation to the next volume.
It is extremely common both on Egyptian monuments, and on Greek, executed after the Macedonian conquest, when many of the Egyptian deities were adopted by the conquerors; who varied the compositions, but retained the symbols, or only employed others with the same meaning.
This is the only figure of Ammon extant, with the Ram’s head on a human body, as described by Herodotus and others, that we know of; the pure animal symbol with the ornament of deification on the head being generally employed in the hieroglyphics and other such monuments; and the human head, with the horns only of the Ram, having been adopted by the Greek artists in representing this deity, even long before the establishment of the Macedonian dynasty; as appears by the medals of Barce. Cyrene, &c. of a very early fabric.
The height of this figure, if standing erect, would be upwards of two feet and an half, exclusive of the ornament on the head; which is more than that of any other Egyptian figure in metal that has come to our knowledge.
Source: Specimens of antient sculpture: Ægyptian, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman
by Richard Payne Knight (1751-1824); John Samuel Agar (ca. 1770-ca. 1835). Inquiry into the symbolical language of ancient art and mythology; Society of Dilettanti (London, England). London: Printed by T. Bensley for T. Payne, and J. White and Co. 1809.