Frederick York, The First Egyptian Room, a photograph

The British Museum, London, around AD 1875

This is one of a collection of photographs taken by Frederick York of Notting Hill, London in 1875. Along the wall above the display cases can be seen a cast of the sculptured and painted bas-relief depicting the conquest of the Egyptian king Ramesses II (reigned about 1279-1213 BC) over the Ethiopians. The cast was made from the original situated at a small temple in Beit et-wali, lower Nubia (in present day southern Egypt) in 1825. Colours were added to the cast based upon those observed on site. The cast can today be viewed in Room 65.

The cases below were mainly devoted to what the guide book of the time described as the 'civil section', showing domestic items such as furniture and costumes. The exception to this were the cases seen in the far left of the photograph, which contained religious iconography, including representations of sacred animals such as the jackal of Anubis and the Apis bull. The case glimpsed in the far corner (case 7) contained images of Anubis and Bes.

The mummies and coffins shown in the foreground were displayed in two rows of angled cases along the central part of the gallery.

The First Egyptian Room is now the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Gallery of Egypt and Africa (Room 65).

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Height: 78.000 mm
Width: 82.000 mm

Museum number

Archives CE114/639 (York Album)


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