Ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus
Reign of Psamtik I, ca. 664-610 BC.
First decades of the 26th Dynasty
Found in a western-bank cemetery near Luxor, Upper Egypt.
This incredible piece was brought out of Egypt in the early 1960's and has resided in private collections ever since.
It is constructed of sturdy wood and cartonnage and retains its original multi-colored paint and pigment, depictions of the gods, and a beautiful depiction of the deceased in his youth. The original heiroglyphic prayers were painted by priests nearly 2800 years ago and can still be translated. Also has some unusual depictions of gods and goddesses that are quite unusual for pieces of this period.
An exceptional piece and very nicely restored! Was on display at Fortuna Fine Arts in New York City
Egyptian mummy-case (sarcophagus) of Amuun-Red, an official of Psamtik I. This complete wooden sarcophagus with a white background and extensive colorful paint includes the front and back along with the pegs that slotted the two pieces together. The red-brown skinned man wears a false beard and wig with green striations that is topped with a cartouche bearing heiroglyphs. The man's ears are rendered in the typical style; flat out at the sides, and he has black eyebrows, eye outlines, and slender bears running from above his ears down to his chin; his nose and ears are carefully modeled. The front of the sarcophagus is dominated by a wide pectoral with floral and geometric designs that completely covers the individual's arms and hands. In the center, just below the pectoral, a large figure of the sky goddess Nut is seated with her knee up and wings spread, crowned with a solar disc. She is flanked by scenes of a supplicating, red-skinned figure before a seated Atum, who wears a double-crown and false beard, followed by the ram-headed god Knum with his wavy ram's horns and ostrich-feather crown. Completing this zone is a narrow band of heiroglyphs. Below is a long central column flanked by four horizontal bands. The central column depicts at the top the sun streaming rays over the mummy' of the deceased, which is laid out on a couch with four canopic jars lined up underneath. Extending to the feet are two green columns of heiroglyphs separated by three slightly narrower white columns of heiroglyphs. The four horizontal bands that flank this column consist of various animal-headed divinities in procession, separated by green horizontal lines and bands of heiroglyphs. Another band of heiroglyphs just above the feet closes off the body decoration. The feet have an upside-down Nut, her head flanked by Udjat (Eye of Horus) eyes and vertical bands of heiroglyphs, On either side of her are figures of Anubis reclining on pedestals. Diagonal bands of heiroglyphs embellish the sides of the feet, and there is a further band framed by red lines that encircles the base. At the sides are vertical bands of green and red, followed by an undulating white ribbon filled with black markings, quite likely intended to represent serpents. On the backof the sarcophagus is a raised pillar of Osiris flanked by wide bands of markings, perhaps intended to be heiroglyphs. The pillar decoration consists of two uraeii (cobras) wearing large red solar discs flanking a large feather with its own red solar disc at its base, which is set atop a colorful djed pillar, flanked by three horizontal bands with canopic jars. Ref: A sarcophagus in the Liebieghaus, Frankfurt, inventory #1653a & b, published in Eva Bayer-Niemeir et al., Aegyptische Bildwerke, Band III: Skulptur, Malerei, Papyri und Saerge (Melsungen, 1993), catalog #73, pp. 332-369. Ex-American private collection, acquired from the Egyptologist John Rilling. Height: 74" (188 cm), reign of Psamtik I, ca. 664-610 BC.