Cat Mummy in Cartonnage
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
This large cat mummy was buried much like a human in a cartonnage (a painted plaster coffin). The inscription calls the cat “the Osiris Pa-miu,” using the same title a human would receive as it merges with the god after its death. The mummy itself is wrapped in an elaborate diamond-shaped pattern, as can be seen in the CT scan.
This cat’s unusual size suggests it is either a wild desert cat (Felis chaus) or perhaps a mix of wild cat and domestic breeds.
Cartonnage, animal remains (Felis sylvestris, Felis libyca, or Felis chaus), linen, pigment
ca. 760-390 B.C.E.
Dynasty 25 to Dynasty 28
Third Intermediate Period to Late Period
9 1/2 x 6 x 35 in. (24.1 x 15.2 x 88.9 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Cat Mummy in Cartonnage, ca. 760-390 B.C.E. Cartonnage, animal remains (Felis sylvestris, Felis libyca, or Felis chaus), linen, pigment, 9 1/2 x 6 x 35 in. (24.1 x 15.2 x 88.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1991Ea-c. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 37.1991Ea_37.1991Eb-c_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
component, 37.1991Ea_37.1991Eb-c_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Mummified cat (c), the body and face covered with painted cartonnage (a-top; b-bottom), with a column of inscription "words spoken by the Osiris, the cat nfrHr. May he give gladness (?)..." Probably of the species Felus Chaus. The cat mummy is wrapped overall with a final cross lashing of thin strips of linen. The cat has an elaborate linen cartonnage, which consists of at least 8 layers of linen. The cartonnage is gesso covered and painted in red, blue, black and yellow. The cartonnage depicts a cat face in profile with a red body. The cat is wearing a blue and white striped headdress with a blue, red and white striped collar. On the red body are painted three columns of vertical hieroglyphs. The outer two columns are grey in color and the central row is white. The hieroglyphs are simple line drawings in black. There are two rectangular patches with painted figures in profile. Condition: The cartonnage casing surrounding the mummy and the mummy are in poor condition. Both are in two parts, with the cat head having been decapitated. The cartonnage is also in two halves running the vertical length - front and back. The cartonnage is crushed, especially at the top and bottom corners. The paint is flaking overall and there are numerous losses, especially in areas of deformation of the substrate. There is some loss to the linen along the edges and sides of the cartonnage, especially at the bottom edge. There is evidence of a repair at the neck, of both the mummy and the cartonnage.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.