About this object

Wooden Middle Kingdom model of a funerary bier with mummy but with modern (?) additions to give the appearance of a funeral barge. The funerary bier has lion legs and a pillared canopy and is probably part of a larger model boat. Lying on the bier is a model of a mummy/mummiform coffin which has traces of white and yellow paint, a blue wig with yellow stripes, and a yellow face with eyes in black and white. The mummy wears a red, blue, yellow and green broad-collar of beads, finished off with black ‘drop’ beads. Above this there is a necklace of two beads around the neck. Down the front, painted in yellow on a blue column with a red and yellow border, is an inscription that starts with an offering formula to Ptah-Sokar but the rest is worn off (dimensions L 141 mm x W 46 mm x D 40 mm).

At the back is a pseudo-boat stern with a small male seated at back before an altar with three jars. Most of these elements seem to be authentic, but their current arrangement behind the bier is 19th century work. However, at the front is a very odd addition of a head and torso of a man with both hands holding a standard of a dome with a bird on top, perhaps representing Amentet the personification of the West. This has no parallels on a boat model.

For the general style it may be compared to a model of a funeral barge in the British Museum no. 9525 (Salt collection) published in S.R.K. Glanville 'Catalogue of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum II Wooden Model Boats' (London, 1972) pp. 11-16, figs. 10-15, pl. III.

There is no trace of a record card made by Professors Newberry or Peet. Charles Gatty described it c. 1870 on his record card as: "Model of a Sepulchral Boat, in wood; the mummy is lying upon a bier, ornamented with the heads and legs of lions; above is a canopy supported by six columns, two of which have capitals in shape of the head of Athor; in the stern a man is seated before a tray with three vases upon it. L.11 1/2 in."

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Middle Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    1985 BC - 1773 BC (Dynasty 12 ) about
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    19th Century
  • Measurements
    185 mm x 72 mm x 300 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: 83 page illustrated catalogue of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Joseph Sams or Lord Valentia collections. The woodcut illustrations were produced by the noted Victorian illustrator and engraver, Llewellynn Frederick William Jewitt FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 catalogue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text. Much of this information was provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
Object view = Humanities
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