About this object

Mummy of a complete and articulated crocodile well wrapped and modelled in brown and undyed linen bandages. The arrangement of the bandages, in geometrical patterns using interlaced dyed strips of material, follows a style which is common in the Ptolemaic and Romano-Egyptian periods and it allows us to date the mummy to about the 1st century AD.

The mummy was X-rayed in 1995 at National Museums Liverpool’s Conservation Centre, for a permanent exhibition, "Caught in Time", which explored the different ways conservators work with museum collections. X-rays identified the presence of two juvenile crocodiles placed on the back of the primary individual and what appears to be a tooth of a larger crocodile. The mummy was X-rayed and CT imaged at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on 9th April 2015 as part of the University of Manchester’s Animal Bio Bank Project. The radiograph report noted “the skull is presented in a slightly elevated position, possibly due to fracture and curvature of the spine. The skull appears complete with no signs of fatal trauma. An osteoderm from a larger crocodile is visible on top of the primary individual in line with the front limbs. A packet of bones has been tucked under one of the rear limbs”.

Purchased from the collection formed by George Annesley, 2nd Earl of Mountnorris, Viscount Valentia (1770-1844) at the sale held at Arley Castle in December 1852. Most of the collection was obtained between 1817-20 from Henry Salt, whilst he was British consul-general in Egypt.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Probably Romano-Egyptian
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    1st Century AD
  • Materials
    Crocodile; Textile
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date collected
    1820 about
  • Measurements
    100 mm x 145 mm x 1010 mm
  • Related people
    Annesley, George Arthur, 9th Viscount Valentia (Previous owner); Joseph Mayer (Collector, previous owner)

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    Author: Landesmuseum Württemberg
    Publisher: Philipp von Zabern
    Date: 2007
    Description: Catalogue of the exhibition called "Ägyptische Mumien. Unsterblichkeit im Land der Pharaonen" [Egyptian Mummies. Immortality in the Land of the Pharaohs] held at the Landesmuseum Württember, Germany 7 OCtober 2007 - 24 March 2008.

  • 'Auctions and air-raids: Liverpool's animal mummy collection' in Lidija McKnight and Stephanie Atherton-Woolham (editors) 'Gifts for the Gods: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies and the British'

    Cooke, Ashley

    Author: Cooke, Ashley
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 2015
    Description: Ashley Cooke, 'Auctions and air-raids: Liverpool's animal mummy collection' in Lidija McKnight and Stephanie Atherton-Woolham (editors) 'Gifts for the Gods: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies and the British' (Liverpool University Press, 2015) pp. 48-53.

  • 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.

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

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    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

  • Gifts of The Nile: Ancient Egyptian Arts and Crafts in Liverpool Museum

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    Author: Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela
    Publisher: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
    Date: 1995
    Description: A 130 page illustrated book that focuses on the Egyptian antiquities in World Museum's collections to provide a colourful introduction to the land and its culture in the Pharaonic period. An appendix explains the history of the collection and includes information about the Lady Lever Art Gallery Egyptian collection, which is also part of National Museums Liverpool.

  • MOUNTNORRIS COLL. 1852. Arley Castle, Staffordshire. Catalogue of the Valuable Contents of the Castle. The Property of the Late Early Mountnorris and Viscount Valentia, deceased which will be sold by Auction by Farebrother, Clark and Lye, 6th Dec. 1852

    Farebrother, Clark and Lye

    Author: Farebrother, Clark and Lye
    Publisher: Farebrother, Clark and Lye
    Date: 1852
    Description: Pamphlet from the auction of the property of the Late Early Mountnorris and Viscount Valentia, deceased which will be sold by Auction by Farebrother, Clark and Lye, 6th Dec. 1852

  • 'The Museums of England with special reference to objects of art and antiquity' in The Art-Journal volume 9

    Jewitt, Llewellynn

    Author: Jewitt, Llewellynn
    Publisher: The Art-Journal
    Date: 1870
    Description: A series of illustrated articles by the antiquarian and iilustrator Llewellynn Jewitt FSA.


  • Egyptian Mummies. Immortality in the Land of the Pharaohs

    Start date: 2007-10-07
    End date: 2007-10-07
    Description: An exhibition called "Ägyptische Mumien. Unsterblichkeit im Land der Pharaonen" held at the Landesmuseum Württember, Germany. The Landesmuseum Württemberg is the main historical museum of the Württemberg part of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It emerged from the 16th century “Kunstkammer” of the dukes, later kings, of Württemberg who resided in Stuttgart

  • Gifts for the Gods: Animal Mummies Revealed

    Start date: 2015-10-08
    End date: 2015-10-08
    Description: This fascinating exhibition explores ancient Egyptian animal mummies, prepared in their millions as votive offerings to the gods. Discover the background behind this religious practice in the context of life in ancient Egypt and the environment in which the animals lived. Featuring mummified specimens such as jackals, crocodiles, cats and birds, the exhibition will also include a recreation of a subterranean animal catacomb, creating an immersive and atmospheric experience. Using animal mummies from a variety of UK collections, the exhibition will also look at the use of science, such as CT imaging, to learn more about the subject. World Museum has worked on this exhibition in partnership with Manchester Museum, Glasgow Museums and The University of Manchester. The touring exhibition will be hosted at three cities - Manchester: 8 October 2015 2016 - 17 April 2016 Glasgow: May 2016 - June 2016 Liverpool:14 October 2016 - 26 February 2017


Previous owners

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