Pigment card

Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum

Pigment

56.21.295

Currently not on display

Information

Mounted on two sheets of card are twenty-one swatches of colour painted on paper by Flaxman Spurrell with ancient pigment collected from the ancient city of Tell el-Amarna by William Flinders Petrie in 1892. Beside each swatch of colour are Spurrell’s annotations to indicate the source of the pigment and if the paint was prepared from raw (R) or burnt (B) pigment. Attached to one card sheet is a sheet of paper annotated in ink, “Colours from various buildings at Tel El Amarna XVIII Dynasty BC 1450 obtained by Mr. Petrie in 1892. Each colour is that prepared for painting by the ancient Egyptians and come from pots or broken sherds in which they were kept or mixed. In each left column the preparation as found is merely pulvarised and mixed with as little gum Arabic (such as the ancients did) as would hold. On the right I have treated some of the coour by burning and gum Arabic. FCJ Spurrell”. On the back of one card sheet is an ink annotation, "Colours - Tel El Amarna. Prepared Paints". This object is an example of the physical remains of Flaxman Spurrell’s experiments with ancient Egyptian colours which were published as an article, ‘Notes on Egyptian Colours’, in The Archaeological Journal 52 (1895), pages 222–39.