Egyptian Painted Mummy Cartonnage Iset-Weret
An ancient Egyptian polychrome mummy cartonnage assemblage of Iset-Weret consisting of a mask with a gilded face and elaborate wig with a winged scarab beetle on the top and a Djed pillar on the back, across the chest lies a panel in the form of a broad collar with falcons at the shoulders, below the collar, another panel depicts the kneeling figure of the goddess of truth, Maat, with outstretched wings and Anubis presiding over the deceased, flanked by the sister-goddesses Isis and Nephthys, below are representations of the four sons of Horus, the leg covering below has an inscription naming the deceased and scenes of the deceased moving into the Afterlife, figures of the jackal god Anubis atop a shrine appear on the foot covering.
The preservation of the body of the deceased was an essential aspect of Egyptian funerary practices. As mummification techniques became more advanced over time, the cartonnage panels that adorned the mummy became more elaborate. Cartonnage trappings were manufactured by layering linen stiffened with plaster around the mummy. The surface was painted and decorated in vibrant colors, sometimes including gilding. The artistic repertoire depicted images of the necessary ritual components of entry into the Afterlife, including the preparation of the body, the adoration of specific deities, and the protection of other deities, as well as the amulets and talismans needed for the journey.
Cf.: A. Kuffer, R. Siegmann, Unter Dem Schutz der Himmelsgottin, Agyptische Sarge, mumien und Masken in der Schweiz, (Zurich, 2007); M. Raven, Egyptian Mummies, Leiden Museum, (Belgium, 2005).
Formerly in the collection of Emile Saad, Alexandria, Egypt before 1972; Simon Ohan Simonian collection, California.
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