Wooden figure

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Woodwork case
Object Type
Sculpture, Statue
Graeco-Roman Period
Ptolemaic Period
Faience | Wood
Height: 258mm | Width: 44mm| Depth: 26mm
Number of Elements
Divine Name
Isis | Nephthys

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A wooden figure of a seated woman with faience inlay strips for hair. There are the remains of the gesso paste, and on the face traces of gilt can be seen. The figure has a peg hole to which a headdress would have been attached and pegs for arm attachment. She appears to be wearing the vulture headdress. The remains of the pegs to which the knees would have been attached are also evident. This probably represents Isis or Nephthys in attitude of mourning. It dates from the Late or Ptolemaic Period when burials included such wooden figures, presumably placed at head and foot of coffins. Alternatively, it may be a part of a figure of Isis nursing Horus similar to Louvre E17495 which is also gilded, has a vulture headdress and faience inlay in the hair. A similar version from the tomb of Tutankhamun shows Isis without faience hair. This example was part of the MacGregor collection purchased by Wellcome in 1922, lot 576.

Wellcome Number
Other Identity
2051 (mentioned in Day Book 8.4.1986)
Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge: 26 Jun–06 Jul 1922, Lot 576
Previous Owners
Rev. William MacGregor (1848–1937) | Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 17 Feb 2021

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