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Mummiform Figure of Osiris

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The inscription identifies this figure as Osiris. He wears the crown of ostrich feathers, a sun-disk, and the ram’s horns that identify him as a king. Yet he is also in the form of a mummy with the curled beard worn by the dead.

The figure stands on a hollow base. Originally, a papyrus with a spell written on it was stored in the base. When this figure and papyrus were placed in the tomb, the deceased enjoyed the protection of Osiris and of the spell.
MEDIUM Wood, pigment
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664–332 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 25 3/4 x 7 x 11 in. (65.4 x 17.8 x 27.9 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS "A recitation by Osiris, presides over the Westerners, good god (lord of Ro)-setau, may he grant..."
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, reportedly from Saqqara, Egypt; by 1852, collected in Egypt by Henry Abbott of Cairo, Egypt and New York, NY; 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by 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.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Base and figure are of a hard wood; pedestal is of a softer wood.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Mummiform Figure of Osiris, 664–332 B.C.E. Wood, pigment, 25 3/4 x 7 x 11 in. (65.4 x 17.8 x 27.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1481E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1481E_front_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 37.1481E_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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