About this object

Copper alloy aegis with the head of Isis wearing a tripartite wig with a crown of cobras with uraeus. The semi-circular gorget plate (or shield) is bent out of shape and broken away at the right side. The head is hollow cast with surviving inlay in the right eye. In the late 1910s Professor Percy Newberry described the piece as of “fair” technique and made this note on the preservation: “arm and emblems of head lost; eyes and rim of one eye also lost; upper edges of collar broken; whole object bent”. This type of object would have been attached to the prow of a sacred boat (barque).

The object was not evacuated out of the musuem during World War Two and somehow passed into the collection of Major Dixon Nuttall who returned it to the museum in 1961 (was given a temporary number of 1961.202.177). The curator at the time (Dr Dorothy Downes) noted on the record card: "Ex Mayer Coll. war time looting, passed into coll of Major Dixon Nuttall; given to Museum by him".

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    Dynasty 26 BC - 30 (about 664 BC - 332 BC)
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    19th Century
  • Measurements
    175 mm x 170 mm x 60 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • 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.


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Donation
Object view = Humanities
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