Resin sphinx

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Fakes, forgeries, and replicas case
Middle Kingdom to Modern
Plant products (Resin)
Egypt, Abydos
Height: 40mm | Weight: 11g
Number of Elements

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A small resin figure depicting a sphinx with a human head and wearing a nemes-headcloth associated with the king. The paws of the sphinx hold the head of a captive. The original, which is in the British Museum (BM EA 54678), was excavated by John Garstang at Abydos and dates to the Middle Kingdom. It may have been part of a model ship's figurehead. A number of copies seem to have been made, all of which have "NEOS F" written on the underside. This is the mark of William H. Young of the Ashmolean, who was a conservator and restorer employed by Garstang. The British Museum has an example given to it in 1909 (BM EA 48999). It was displayed in The Face of Egypt Exhibition at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in 1997 (Face of Egypt Catalogue Number 43).


Anonymous (ed.) 1994. Pharaonen und Fremde: Dynastien im Dunkel; 194. Sonderausstellung des Historischen Museums der Stadt Wien in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Ägyptologischen Institut der Universität Wien und dem Österreichischen Archäologischen Institut Kairo, Rathaus Wien, Volkshalle, 8. Sept.–23. Okt. 1994. Wien: Eigenverlag der Museen der Stadt Wien. 194. Sonderausstellung des Historischen Museums der Stadt Wien. [no. 362] Oppenheim, Adela, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto (eds) 2015. Ancient Egypt transformed: the Middle Kingdom. New Haven, London: Yale University Press. [p. 170] Stevenson, Alice 2019. Scattered finds: archaeology, Egyptology and museums. London: UCL Press. [pp. 158–162 for William Young]

Wellcome Number
Other Identity
NEOS F (carved on the underside)
Christie, Manson & Woods: 05–06 Jul 1922, Lot 90
Previous Owners
Ralph Brocklebank (1840–1921) | Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 22 Jan 2021

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