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Anthropoid Coffin of the Servant of the Great Place, Teti

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 1, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Among the greatest desires of New Kingdom Egyptians was a proper burial. This coffin was made for the artisan Teti, a “Servant of the Great Place” who painted tombs in the Valley of the Kings. He paid nearly a year’s salary for a coffin of this quality. Five different paint colors decorate the coffin: blue, yellow, red, black, and white. Each color added to the cost. The yellow background paint with red streaks is used to imitate the gilded coffins of the wealthy.
MEDIUM Wood, pigment
DATES ca. 1339–1307 B.C.E.
DYNASTY mid to late Dynasty 18
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS Box with lid in place: 33 7/16 x 26 3/16 x 83 1/2 in., 248 lb. (85 x 66.5 x 212.1 cm, 112.5kg) 37.14Ea Lid: 19 7/8 x 26 3/16 x 83 1/2 in., 120 lb. (50.5 x 66.5 x 212.1 cm, 54.4kg) 37.14Eb Box: 13 9/16 x 26 3/16 x 83 1/2 in., 128 lb. (34.5 x 66.5 x 212.1 cm, 58.1kg)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS "O Mother Nut stretch yourself over me! Place me among the imperishable stars, let me not die forvever, the Osiris Teti." [Dodson, Aidan, and Wendy Raver article translation]
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, probably from Deir el-Medina, Thebes, Egypt; 1848, acquired in Egypt by Henry Anderson; 1864, gift of Henry Anderson to the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; September 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Anthropoid form, in two parts, a box and cover, the box sloping from head to foot with a drop of 24cm. The under part is shaped to the form of the mummy, with the calves of the legs and position of knees indicated in relief as on the bands of the wig. The ears overlap the wig of which the two breast tabs are shown in relief. There is no indication of the arms. Interior of both cover and box stuccoed white with no decoration. Three inscribed lengthwise bandages run down the middle of cover crossed by four other bandages passing theoretically completely around the body, but they are not represented on the under surface of the box which is stuccoed, painted yellow but not varnished. Each side divided into five panels by the bandages; on each side the panel, just under the shoulders, contains an Horus eye above a pylon. Deities are pictured in the other panels. On the left side they are Hapy, Anubis, Kebehsenuef and Thoth; on the right side, Imsety, Anubis, Dwa-Mutef and Thoth. A large Djed sign represented on top of the head is surmounted by small figure of Nepthys. Condition: various open joints and cracks. Several small pieces missing from lower part of wig. General condition is good.
CAPTION Anthropoid Coffin of the Servant of the Great Place, Teti, ca. 1339–1307 B.C.E. Wood, pigment, Box with lid in place: 33 7/16 x 26 3/16 x 83 1/2 in., 248 lb. (85 x 66.5 x 212.1 cm, 112.5kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.14Ea-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.14E_front_PS1.jpg)
IMAGE front, 37.14E_front_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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