About this object

Wooden mummiform coffin trough of Hor-wen-nefer, a high-ranking priest at the sacred city of Abydos. Hor-wen-nefer’s coffin shows him reborn in the image of Osiris the god of the Underworld. His golden face follows the belief that the skin of the gods was made of gold. He wears a wig the same blue colour as lapis-lazuli, a precious stone that the god’s hair was made from. The plaited and curled beard is of the kind only ever worn by gods and kings. He wears a broad collar of beads and rosettes. Beneath this is an image of the winged goddess Nut, and below her are five vertical lines of inscription running the length of the lid, painted in black hieroglyphs of a yellow ground. Flanking these columns are the figures of various deities. At the top left is Hapy, beneath whom is Qebehsenuef and then Nephthys. The order on the right is Imsety at the top, Duamutef in the middle and Isis at the bottom. Lines one to five contain shirt utterances by the Four Sons of Horus in which they promise to protect the life of Hor-wen-nefer. The three cenrtral lines invoke the goddesses Mut and Nut, and express similar ideas of protection.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Abydos
  • Date made
    332 BC - 30 BC about
  • Materials
    Gold; Wood; Paint; Plaster
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    John Barker
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Abydos
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    375 mm x 615 mm x 2020 mm x 58 kg
  • Note
    Previously in the collection of Joseph Sams (1784 -1860);
  • Related people
    John Barker ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph Mayer ( Previous owner); Joseph Sams ( Previous owner)
  • Related documents/media

Explore related


  • 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


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

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

    Owned from: 1833
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1850
    Disposal method: Sold
  • John Barker

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1833
    Disposal method: Sold
Object view = Humanities
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