An Egyptian Wood Mummy Hand from a Sarcophagus, 21st Dynasty, ca. 1069 BCE
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Very finely rendered, wood with gesso and polychrome, the long smooth fingers outstretched and wearing a total of five blue rings with good traces of yellow and brown polychrome remains between the fingers.
This stylization is typical of the wooden mummy boards included as inner layers of the coffins found in the Theban necropolis. The arms are crossed and the hands are shown as if protruding from the body wrappings.
For a similar example of hands shown protruding from a sarcophagus lid see: Life and Death under the Pharaohs: Egyptian Art from the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, The Netherlands, 2002, no. 201.
Dimensions: Length: 13.5 cm (5 1/4 inches)
Condition: Losses to the tips of the fingers, and now missing the inner portion of the hand and thumb. Good remaining gesso but much of the original yellow polychrome now gone, of the two original dowels used to secure the handle to the board, one remains in situ, the second lower example now missing. Despite this, the hand is lovely and an exceptionally good example of Egyptian art.
Provenance: Dr. Ulrich Mueller private collection, Switzerland acquired between 1968-1978.