A Set of Four Egyptian Painted Limestone Canopic Jars of the Sons of Horus
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1550-1307 B.C.
Height of tallest example 10 1/4 inches.
Canopic jars were used to contain the viscera, or internal organs, of the deceased. During the process of mummification, the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines were removed from the body and embalmed separately in a set of four jars, which were ultimately interred in the burial chamber with the coffin. During the Middle Kingdom, the lids of canopic jars featured human heads, but during the New Kingdom, specific organs came to be associated with the Four Sons of Horus, who were appointed by their father as guardians of the excised organs in the context of the process of mummification and the Afterlife: the liver with human-headed Imsety; the lungs with baboon-headed Hapy; the stomach with jackal-headed Duamutef and the intestines with falcon-headed Qebehsenuef (D'Auria, Lacovara and Roehrig, Mummies and Magic: The Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt, Boston, 1988, p. 151).
Each jar in the present set is inscribed in hieroglyphs with the name of the deceased, Ipu, and the name of the depicted Son of Horus. The name Ipu was common among both men and women at the time, but the determinatives at the end of the inscriptions are male, which likely indicate the sex of the dedicatee.
Bruce McAlpine Ancient Art, 1 December 1992 (with invoice).
Property from the Estate of Joan Conway Crancer, St. Louis, Missouri
For condition inquiries please contact email@example.com