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Ibis Coffin (Thoth)

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This elaborate ancient gilded ibis coffin contains a simple ibis mummy. Most coffins of this type have bronze heads and feet. Scientific testing suggests that the silver fittings seen here are quite likely modern replacements for original bronze fittings.
MEDIUM Wood, silver, gold leaf, gesso, rock crystal, pigment
  • Possible Place Collected: Tuna el-Gebel, Egypt
  • DATES 305–30 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period with later additions
    DIMENSIONS 16 3/4 x 8 x 22 in. (42.5 x 20.3 x 55.9 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Standing figure of an ibis serving as container for mummified ibis. Wooden body, entire surface gilded. Conventionalized tail indicated by black paint over the gilt. Top of body cut for cover which runs entire length of body. Head and feet cast (solid?) in silver. Eyes of crystal outlined in gold. Incised necklace at base of neck. Mounted on oblong wooden base, apparently original, of rough work. Condition: Intact. Minor chips along edges of cover. One section on front of body where gesso base has lifted and cracked. Gilt is covered with resin (?) which may be remains of a varnish.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Ibis Coffin (Thoth), 305–30 B.C.E. Wood, silver, gold leaf, gesso, rock crystal, pigment, 16 3/4 x 8 x 22 in. (42.5 x 20.3 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 49.48a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 49.48_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 49.48_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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