Coffin Box of Aset (Isis)



Box of a wooden mummiform inner coffin with painted decoration inscribed for a 'chantress of Amun' called Aset (Isis). It was damaged by fire during the wartime bombing of Liverpool in May 1941 and a lot of the original decoration has gone. In the 1852 catalogue of Joseph Mayer's collection the coffin is described as being "richly painted, representing a funeral procession". Descriptions from catalogue cards made before 1941 described the coffin box as being painted on the outside with "vignettes and religious texts and frieze of uraei and feathers, it was obviously once very richly decorated and coloured. Inside at the head end was a Ba-bird with wings spread and figures of the god Shu on either side. The whole of the back and sides was covered with religious scenes". All of this is now very damaged and only the right-hand side of the box retains it's decoration to any extent. Here there are a series of eight panels separated by double bands of inscription. The text is in each instance the same, though some lines are better preserved than others. The underside of the coffin is supported by four wooden struts passing across the width, added more recently in the 19th century. Along the thickness of thebox were originally four mortise holes; one is broken away and another is now replaced with modern repair work (plaster?). Conserved in 2017 for display.