Book review: The Shabti Collections – 6

Name: The Shabti Collections – 6, A Selection from World Museum, Liverpool
Author: Glenn Janes
First published: 2016, Olicar House Publications
Amount of pages: 563
ISBN: 978-0-9566271-6-2
Average price: GBP 120
Availability: Good
Language: English

Content: Description of a selection of the shabtis in the World Museum, Liverpool


It took 4 long years waiting, from 2012 to 2016, for the arrival of the next volume in The Shabti Collections series from shabti scholar Glenn Janes.

Following the epical 5th volume with a selection of the Manchesters museum shabti collection it was hard to believe it could get any better, but it did! This 6th, and so far last, volume is the best of the series. It contains a staggering 512 shabtis covered in 275 entries on 563 pages (excluding the elaborate preface).

Apart from the sheer number of shabtis covered, it contains a very wide variety of examples, including royals, and from all time periods, making this one of the best reference books for parallels to which i find myself turn to, more than any other book, first.

For the non specialists the preface contains  a scholary contribution with a brief historical outline of shabtis, as in volume 5, but now pictures are being used from the Liverpool catalogue to show the story in pictures from the museum collection being discussed.

Also building on the experience from volume 5 is that more background information is given for a number of shabtis relating to the find and further funerary equiment. Most notably are the extensive dealings of the shabtis of Seti I and the stone shabtis of Amen-em-ipet. On the Seti I shabtis the author writes a convincing story, attributing a lot of the uninscribed shabtis from this museum to the famous pharao. Many musea and private collectors should reexamine their wooden shabtis based on these parallels!

Again the book is filled with excellent colour pictures and with some side pictures on some of the shabtis. Another noteworthy point is that the parallel overview per entry, which is much more complete than in previous editions, also mentions whether it concerns workers or overseers. A humongous task completed by the author, further adhencing the importance of this book as reference book.

The only small downside of this book is that the binding is perhaps not best suited for the enormous amount of heavy pages. It deserves a hard cover bound version!


The ideal reference book on shabtis, with a huge amount of shabtis, exquisite research and parallel information. Highly recommendable for every museum and persons with an interest in Ancient Egypt and shabtis in particular.

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