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A model sarcophagus: of conventional anthropoid shape with heavy striped wig but it differs from its prototypes in being built in one piece. It is unique among model sarcophagi in being core-built.
The body is opaque turquoise-blue glass. On the left side of the box are four standing deities in opaque yellow glass, in high relief within simple borders of dark-blue glass. These borders pass across the underside of the box. On the opposite side of the box are three standing deities also in yellow glass. In place of a fourth deity there are two wedjat-eyes of yellow glass in high relief. Two opaque yellow threads run down the top centre of the cover obviously to border an inscription which was never added. A Nekhbet-vulture or falcon with outspread wings in dark-blue and yellow glass decorates the breast. The conventionalized bandages, always present on coffins of this type, are in opaque white and translucent dark-blue glass. All the decorations described were applied by trailing. Traces of the original banding of the wig in paint or wax survive.
An unrelated gypsum plaster yellow face has been inserted, probably in recent times, in substitution for the lost original. A hole, apparently ancient, was cut in the feet allowing the removal of the core and the insertion of some votive trifle.
Height: 8.20 centimetres (foot)
Length: 25.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This model or votive sarcophagus, unique in glass, is of a type well represented in the New Kingdom in faience, wood, and pottery.
The type of coffin copied in this model leaves no doubt of a date within the Eighteenth Dynasty but there is little tangible evidence for a more exact date. The obviously poor workmanship of the decorations is exceptional among the glass output of this dynasty, suggesting a lack of any considerable experience by its maker. The glass sculpture produced under Amenhotep II was so perfect that one is almost forced to date this sarcophagus earlier than his reign. A date ranging from the beginning of the dynasty to Tuthmosis III is a possibility. As the production of glass was at that time a royal monopoly it follows that this unique piece was part of some royal funerary equipment.
M. Bimson and A. F. Shore in 'British Museum Quarterly' 30 (London, 1966), 105-9;
Charleston, Evans & Werner (eds.) 'Studies in Glass History and Design', Papers read to Committee B, Sessions of the VIIIth International Congress on Glass in London, 1-6 July 1968, 121, for an analysis of the core.
Nicholson and Shaw, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (Cambridge 2000), p. 202
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
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