About this object

Fragment from a wooden yellow-painted coffin decorated with a scene showing Amenhotep I as a sphinx. The king is identified by his cartouche placed in front of him. A personified ankh placed behind the sphinx holds a fan which indicates a divine presence. This and the other semi circular fan above the body of the sphinx is showing that here the divine form of the king is manifest in the sphinx. The caption, placed behind the sphinx's curved tail describes the king's actions as 'endowed with stability like Re eternally'. The back is painted yellow and there remains trace of two vertical struts, once pivoted to the board. It has been considered that this is a furniture fragment rather than a coffin. A rectangular gap above the sphinx cuts out most of the semi circular fan. Cracked in three places, with five holes drilled into the surface.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Third Intermediate Period
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes
  • Date made
    945 BC (Dynasty 21 late - Dynasty 22 early) about
  • Materials
    Paint; Wood; Gesso
  • 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
  • Measurements
    287 mm x 290 mm x 27 mm
  • Note
    For a discussion of the king as a sphinx see Gay Robins, 'The art of Ancient Egypt' (1997) figs. 154-155. Communication with Dr Aidan Dodson, suggests the coffin was from the 21st Dynasty, no later than the reign of King Shoshenq I (22 February 2011).
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Previous owner); Henry Salt ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph Sams ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • 21st Dynasty Coffins from Thebes. Chronological and Typological Studies

    Niwinski, Andrzej

    Author: Niwinski, Andrzej
    Publisher: P von Zabern
    Date: 1988
    Description: Theben Bd. 5.

  • 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 Highly Interesting and Magnificent Collection of Egyptian Antiquities, the Property of the Late Henry Salt Esq., his Britannic Majesty’s Late Consul General in Egypt

    Sotheby and Son

    Author: Sotheby and Son
    Publisher: Sotheby and Son
    Date: 1852
    Description: Auction catalogue of the Henry Salt collection sold by auction by Sotheby and Son at 3 Wellington Street, Strand, London, on Monday 29 June 1835 and for 8 days afterwards. Available on Google books http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=K2pbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=sale+of+the+henry+salt+collection&source=bl&ots=Abag6tsY8B&sig=J0v7j6GCNxa_19F-y6JrjuajSb8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aq70U4OyLNGB7Qa8oIE4&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=sale%20of%20the%20henry%20salt%20collection&f=true


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: 1850
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Joseph Sams

    Owned from: 1835
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1850
    Disposal method: Sold
  • Henry Salt

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1835
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
Have 20 place tagsPage load time: 262 ms