About this object

Hollow wooden figure of a seated cat manufactured to contain the mummified remains of a cat. The coffin is made from two halves is held together by mortise and tenon joints. Some mortise holes are now empty. Cracks in the coffin reveal there is a bandaged packet inside. X-rays taken on 13 October 2016 revealed that the coffin contains a number of small bones , which are probably some of the remains of a cat. Modern fabric ribbon has been tied around the waist to keep the coffin securely closed, and it has been mounted on a modern plinth. The front legs are missing and the carved facial features are now worn, with tips of the ears missing.

Acquired at Stevens's Auction House Ltd., London, 23 November 1920 Lot 395 "Three cats (in wood), rare, and three jackals" (1920 p. 20).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains
  • Culture
    Ptolemaic - Romano-Egyptian
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    332 BC after
  • Materials
    Wood; Textile
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Henry S Wellcome
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1920-11-23 before
  • Measurements
    236 mm x 61 mm x 86 mm
  • Note
    Height includes modern plinth which is 31 mm tall. Ex Wellcome inv. no. 22937 (which also included two other wooden cats and six wooden jackals (lots 395 and 398). Little white sticker on the head with "30" typed on.
  • Related people
    Wellcome Historical Medical Museum ( Previous owner); Henry Solomon Wellcome ( Collector, previous owner)


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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