About this object

Limestone fragment of raised relief decoration from a tomb or temple wall with representations of two birds being held by their wings by an offering bearer. Remains of paint in are visible in places: blue background, yellow for the hand and red/brown for the birds.

Two auction house stickers were stuck to the surface: one with the number 738 and another (crossed out) 208 - both removed on 2008. On one side there is a red pencil mark reading Del - ba...? (difficult to read). Described as being from Deir el-Bahri in the 1906 sale catalogue of the Robert de Rustafjaell collection, sold at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge auction house (1906, p. 6, lot 54).

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Middle Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes: Deir el Bahri
  • Date made
    2050 BC about
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Robert de Rustafjaell
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Thebes: Deir el Bahri
  • Date collected
    1906 before
  • Measurements
    99 mm x 64 mm x 26 mm
  • Note
    Part of the Wellcome Collection donated to the museum in 1971, accessioned in 2014. On reverse there are remains of an unclear pencil marking which is possibly 54/ 8 - the lot number for "hand holding two birds" sold in the 1906 sale of the Robert de Rustafjaell collection at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge. Two auction stickers on that were on the object would seem to suggest it was then sold again before entering the collection of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum.
  • Related people
    Robert de Rustafjaell ( Collector, previous owner); Wellcome Historical Medical Museum ( Previous owner); Henry Solomon Wellcome ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • Catalogue of the Collection of Egyptian Antiquities Formed in Egypt by R. de Rustafjaell Esq., Queen's Gate, SW

    Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge

    Author: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge
    Publisher: Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge
    Date: 1906
    Description: Catalogue of Rober de Rustafjaell's collection sold by Messrs Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge at 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London, on 19, 20 and 21 December 1906.


  • Egypt Exploration Fund Excavations at Deir el Bahri 1897 - 1907

    Start date: 1897
    End date: 1897
    Description: Edouard Naville's excavations between 1897 and 1907 for the Egypt Exploration Fund. Naville cleared the temple of Hatshepsut and discovered the temple of Mentuhotep II in 1897. He carried out several seasons of work at the beginning of the 20th century with the final season during the winter of 1906-7. The museum provided financial sponsorship and the committee of the Egypt Exploration Fund donated a granary model accessioned on 13 December 1899 (; 30 objects which were accessioned on 13 October 1904, accession series In 1956 the museum purchased the bulk of Norwich Castle Museum's Egyptian collection which included material from Deir el Bahri donated by the Egypt Exploration Society in November 1925 to the East Anglia Egyptian Society( "from old stock"). Bibliography: Naville, The Temple of Deir el-Bahri, 7 vols. (London, 1894-1908). Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple of Deir el-Bahri, 3 vols. (London,1907-1913).


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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