Collection online

papyrus

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA10016,1

  • Description

    Papyrus with satirical vignettes: a figured scene in which animals ape human activities, but in a topsy-turvy world, they act against their natural instincts. The lion does not attack the gazelle but plays a board game, probably 'senet', with her. The pair grasps the playing pieces with great difficulty; the lion also holds a dice made from an animal bone. Even when the lion wins, he claims his reward in the bedroom: although the end of the papyrus is damaged, it is surely the same gazelle who is depicted there lying on her back on the bed. The rampant lion who overwhelms her certainly wears the same triumphant expression. Framed by this scene is one in which goats and geese are driven along by their natural predators the hyena, fox, and wild cat who walk upright like human herdsmen, wielding a goad, carrying their possessions in a bag slung over a pole carried on the shoulder, leaning on a staff or playing a double flute. As a further irony the cat cradles a gosling.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1250BC-1150BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 59 centimetres (frame)
    • Height: 13 centimetres
    • Depth: 12 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Bibliography:
    R. Parkinson, ‘ Cracking Codes: The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment’ (London, 1999), cat 81; 'Egyptian Treasures' [exhibition catalogue] (Shanghai, 1999), 230-231 No 69; P. Nicholson and I. Shaw, 'Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology' (Cambridge 2000), p. 269.See L. Morenz, 'Karnevaleske Fest in der altaegyptischen Kultur' in R. Lucarelli et al (ed.), Heraugehen am Tage: Gesammelte Schriften zum altaegyptischen Totenbuch (SAT 17; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2012), p. 92-111.
    See L. Morenz, 'Karnevaleske Fest in der altaegyptischen Kultur' in R. Lucarelli et al (ed.), Heraugehen am Tage: Gesammelte Schriften zum altaegyptischen Totenbuch (SAT 17; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2012), p. 92-111.

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  • Bibliography

    • Monaco 2008 bibliographic details
    • Trismegistos 381252 (http://www.trismegistos.org/text/381252) bibliographic details
    • Russmann 2001 78 bibliographic details
    • Marseille 1991 cat.253, pp.153, 199, fig.138 bibliographic details
    • Taylor 2010 no. 73 bibliographic details
    • Andrews 2000 p.174-185 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    1977 London, BM, Animals in Art
    1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat no.34
    1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat no.34
    1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.61
    1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.61
    1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.61
    2008 Jul-Sep, Monaco, Grimaldi Forum, Reines de Egyptes
    2010 4th Nov-2011 6th March, Round Reading Room BM, Book of the Dead
    2012 July -September, Tokyo, Mori museum, The Book of the Dead: Journey Through the Afterlife
    2012, October - November, Fukuoka Museum of Art, The Book of the Dead
    2013, May - September, Perth, Western Australian Museum, The Book of the Dead

  • Condition

    Papyrus Survey: Condition Details: Papyrus: fractured, loss, bleached, offsetting of media Pigment: loss, faded Backed: brown paper Checked for loan to Australia 1988 Checked for loan to France 1988 Checked for loan to Far East 1997 checked for loan to USA 1999 Checked for loan to USA 1999 (AFA) Displayed in Room 62 until 1997 Displayed in Room 61 2000 to 2001 Checked for loan to Monaco 2008 Mount Details: Sandwich: glass Binding: Filmoplast T self adhesive linen tape Object Priority: B Mount Priority: A Overall Condition: A Curatorial condition comment: good

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1834

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA10016,1

  • Registration number

    .10016.1

  • Additional IDs

    • Frame.1
    • Sams 23

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Object reference number: YCA63187

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