This magnificent Egyptian polychrome and gilt Cartonnage mummy cover (shroud), Late Dynastic Period 332-32BCE, is a rare form of item on the market. The design covers the scene from the book of the dead with the four sons of Horus; Happy, Imsety, Duamutef and Qebhefsenuef (the essential personifications for the four canopic jars). watching over the deceased, safeguarding the body, soul and essence (BA), preservation of the body was
imperative in Ancient Egypt. Images were especially important. If the body was damaged images of the deceased would help safeguard the body to the field of reeds. After all images were magical.
The cartonnage cover begins with white, blue, green, red and gilt decoration composed of a floral broad collar with falcon-head terminals. A stunning panel below depicting Nut with outstretched wings and carrying ostrich feathers. Nut, goddess of the sky was crucial in the creation myth and her images were essential in rebirth and creation of the deceased.
We then move down to the leg panel and column where we can see the beautiful figure of Nepythys who was the daughter of Nut and Geb and is here depicted with her sister Isis. The pair are performing the funerary rights to the deceased because of their role as protectors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as sister-wife of Set.
Lastly we see the astounding figures of the four sons of Horus; Hapy (Hpy), Imsety (Imsti), Duamutef depicted in the columns. The fours sons of Horus were orinally guides to help feed the dead king. The fours sons of Horus were imperative personifications for the preservation and safety of the organs of the deceased.
The golden gilded mummy mask is a perfect example of images being essential. The ancient Egyptians believed that it was important to create a backup version of their likeness to help preserve their characteristics. This wonderful polychrome gilded mask is a wonderful example of Late Dynastic burial rights and beliefs. This would have been placed over the polychrome cover and would stand in place of the actual body.
Measurements: Mummy Mask - 7.87" in height (20 cm in height x 12 cm in width) Full body shroud - 74.80"in length (190cm in length)