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Home > Auctions > 4th June 2024 > Egyptian Wooden Sarcophagus with Falcon Mummy

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LOT 0012

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 9,390 - 11,740
USD ($) 10,190 - 12,740

Opening Bid
£4,000 (EUR 4,696; USD 5,097) (‡+bp*)

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Bids: 0
19 1/2 in. (2.3 kg, 49.5 cm).

Two-part wooden (sycamore?) falcon-headed mummiform coffin carved from a single piece of wood, with a tripartite wig and human ears, painted detailing to the eyes, and broad decorative collar; the whole covered with black paint with traces of yellow decoration and inscriptions; inside a mummified falcon wrapped in linen strips.

Ex R. Liechti (1934-2010) Geneva, Switzerland, formed between 1950-1990s.

Accompanied by a copy of an old collection inventory note.
Accompanied by an academic report by Egyptologist Paul Whelan.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by a search certificate number no.12074-218220.

Cf. Raven, M.J., ‘Corn Mummies’, Oudheidkundige Mededelingen uit het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden te Leiden 63 (1982), pl. 4A, for a comparable black-painted falcon-headed coffin with yellow decoration.

This falcon-headed coffin once contained a so-called 'corn mummy' - a mummiform effigy impregnated with grain, which germinated. Such 'corn mummies' were associated with Osirian regeneration, fertility, and rebirth concepts. The falcon-headed coffin was associated with the powerful funerary deity Sokar-Osiris or Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. It seems that the original contents of this coffin were either lost or discarded and replaced with a mummified bird (falcon?). Interestingly, the most significant number of falcon-headed coffins come from Tuna el-Gebel, the site of an extensive animal mummy necropolis.