Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom period, 18th to 20th Dynasty, ca. 1549 to 1076 BCE. A nicely preserved wooden headrest carved in three sections used to support the head of a mummy. Headrests of this type (constructed from two or more separate sections) are believed to have had several functions. The Egyptians normally slept on their sides and the curved upper section held the head above the bed. At their most prosaic, the headrests were frequently buried with the mummy and provided a place to rest the deceased's head; concurrently, they were found inside excavated coffins. Also, the importance of elevating the head was integral with their religious practices. Raised heads were intended to aid in resurrection by mimicking the sun god rising above the horizon and playing a part in the "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony described in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (or Book of Going Forth by Day). Size: 7.6" W x 7.6" H (19.3 cm x 19.3 cm).
For a stylistically similar example of a headrest from the New Kingdom period, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 36.3.169.
Provenance: private J.H. collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.
Bottom panel and head rest repaired from multiple large pieces, with chips and adhesive residue along break lines. Headrest portion adhered to midsection and cannot be removed, but bottom of midsection is still removable from base. Abrasions and nicks to bottom, midsection, and top, with light encrustations in some recessed areas. Nice earthen deposits and great patina throughout.