As the head has survived it is possible to identify the subject with tripartite wig as Akhenaten – the 18th Dynasty pharaoh who reigned from c.1353- 1336BC.
He is noted for abandoning Egypt’s traditional polytheistic religion in favour of worship centred on the sun gold Aten. After his death, Akhenaten’s monuments were dismantled and hidden, his statues were destroyed, and traditional religious practice restored under his successor Tutankhamun.
A better preserved brown quartzite shabti of Akhenaten is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Roseberys’ fragment was gifted to the vendor’s father by Spink and Sons c.1952, and by repute was acquired in 1910 by the Bishop of Cairo who was a keen amateur Egyptologist.
It was guided at £700-900 but sold at £24,000 in the West Norwood auction.