Soul House


About this object

The Blitz has a lasting impact on what we know about the collections now at World Museum. In the decades that followed the Blitz curator’s unpacked hundreds of crates and rediscovered objects they once thought had been lost in the fire.

Working out the history of this Ancient Egyptian Redware pottery offering table in the form of a so-called 'soul house' is typical of the sort of detective work museum curators did after the Blitz. Some of the museum’s archives did survive the war. In the files it noted that in September 1907 the museum received 5 soul-houses and 3 soul-house fragments from the British School of Archaeology in Egypt. Only this one survived the Blitz. By a process of elimination this object, left without a number in the chaos of the Blitz, was reunited with its history.

This time consuming process of reconnecting objects to their histories still goes on today.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Middle Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    2055 BC - 1650 BC (Dynasty 11) about
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Margaret Susan Tyssen-Amherst
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1864 before
  • Measurements
    160 mm x 348 mm x 460 mm
  • Related people
    Margaret Susan Tyssen-Amherst ( Collector, previous owner); Wellcome Historical Medical Museum ( Previous owner); Henry Solomon Wellcome ( Previous owner)
  • Related documents/media


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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