About this object

Wooden mummiform coffin trough belonging to Aset (Isis), 'lady of the house' and 'chantress of Amun' and identified in the inscriptions as the great-great-granddaughter of the Fourth Prophet of Amun Djedkhonsefankh 'A': a priest whose career flourished under Osorkon I and probably under Takelot and Osorkon II, in the early 9th century BC.

Along the upper edge of each side of the coffin is a single horizontal band of inscription that for the most part consists of details of the genealogy of Aset. These are two offering formulas, commencing at the head-end and sharing the hetep element, which is set at the back of the head. On the left-hand side the gods invoked are Atum, Ptah-soker and Osiris-Wennefer.

On either side of the coffin are two horizontal bands containing vertical columns of inscription, interspersed with panels containing vignettes. The upper band commences at the feet end on the right-hand side and works its way round to the feet on the left-hand side. The text is based on Spell 145 of the Book of the Dead (Start of the gateways of the Field of Reeds of the domain of Osiris). The lower band travels in the opposite direction, from the feet on the left-hand side to the feet on the right-hand side. The text for the lower band is taken from Spell 146 of the Book of the Dead (Start of the gateways of the domain of Osiris in the Field of Reeds).

This coffin came to England containing a mummy of the early Roman period (M13997a) and a heavily restored/forged coffin lid. Conservation work in February 1965 found that, "in the lower half of the coffin, all but one of the mortice holes contain quantities of blue faience beads. In one hole alone there are about 90 whole beads. Many have been crushed by the tenons or pegs but a large proportion are perfect. The beads were embedded in a soft fibrous substance, resembling wood fibre, but were easily dislodged.". These will be the remains of a bead net placed over a mummy that once (perhaps the original occupant) placed within this coffin. From the beginning of the first millennium BC onwards, an intricate bead net was placed as the final layer of wrapping for mummies.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Third Intermediate Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    About 945 - 715 BC (Dynasty 22)
  • Materials
    Paint; Wood; Plaster; Textile
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    280 mm x 505 mm x 1752 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer (Associated Person, collector, previous owner); Joseph Sams (Collector, previous owner)

Where is this object from?

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  • Ancient Egypt: objects of antiquity forming part of the extensive and rich collections from Ancient Egypt brought to England by, or now in the possession of, J. Sams

    Sams, Joseph

    Author: Sams, Joseph
    Publisher: Joseph Sams
    Date: 1839
    Description: This rare book contains images of many objects now in World Museum Liverpool. Most survived the fire that destroyed the museum in 1941, but for those that perished this publication provides one of the only records of their existence. Many objects in Liverpool's Egyptology collection once belonged to Joseph Sams (1784-1860) a Darlington bookseller who visited Egypt and Palestine in 1822-3, bringing back an extensive collection of antiquities. Many were acquired by the British Museum by a Parliamentary grant in 1824. Between 1830 and 1839 Sams purchased objects from the collections of Henry Salt and Charles Bogaert. Much of Sams collection was later purchased by the Liverpool antiquarian Joseph Mayer (1803-1886). In 1867 Mayer donated 14,000 objects to the Liverpool Museum. Scans of some of the book can be found on the University of Heidelberg's website: http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/sams1839/0001/thumbs?sid=e8625dd65d2533f48137aec215ade5a8#current_page

  • Catalogue of the Egyptian Museum, No. VII, Colquitt Street, Liverpool

    Mayer, Joseph

    Author: Mayer, Joseph
    Publisher: Joseph Mayer
    Date: 1852
    Description: Joseph Mayer published a catalogue of his collection in 1852, whilst it was at his Egyptian Museum in Colquitt Street. This is before he donated his collection to the Liverpool Free Public Museums in 1867 so his entries do not include the accession numbers that the objects now bear.

  • 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: Catalogue of most 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 Jospeh Sams or Lord Valentia (ex Henry Salt) collections. There are illustrations of some objects, in particular the amulets, by Mr Ll. Jewitt, FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 cataloue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text, provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.

  • Egyptian Treasures in Europe volume 4: National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool

    Andrea Davies and Dirk van der Plas (ed.)

    Author: Andrea Davies and Dirk van der Plas (ed.)
    Publisher: Utrecht University
    Date: 2001
    Description: CD ROM with 1500 objects from World Museum's Egyptian collection, including some destroyed in World War Two. This is now available online: http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/default.aspx

  • 'Theban coffins from the Twenty-second to the Twenty-sixth Dynasty: dating and synthesis of development' in 'The Theban Necropolis Past Present and Future', edited by Nigel Strudwick and John H Taylor

    John H Taylor,

    Author: John H Taylor,
    Publisher: British Museum Press
    Date: 2003


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1839
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donated
  • Joseph Sams

    Owned from: 1833
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1839
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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