12a: An Egyptian Funerary Cone 18th Dynasty
Egypt, 18th Dynasty, ca 1550 - 1295 BC. For the Chief of Wab-Priests Delag. Not the usual conical form, this rare example features three oval impressions and would probably have been part of a corner. Manufactured from Nile silt clay, the main face features one complete and one partial impression in raised relief, both reading: "The venerated one in the presence of Osiris, the chief of wab-priests Delag, true of voice." However, there is a further impression to the top of the piece that, although now illegible, carries traces of red and white pigment. A rare example indeed!
cf: Macadam and Davies, "Corpus of Inscribed Funerary Cones," #45.
Background: Funerary cones, representing the ends of chapel roof support beams, were traditionally inserted in rows (their flat ends facing outward) above the mudbrick entrances of the super-structures of non-royal tombs in Thebes from the 18th to 26th Dynasties (1550-525BC).
Often conical in shape, the visible flat surface of these fascinating objects typically contained a positive stamped impression of the tomb owners name and titles. Additional biographical data and epitaphs could also be included such as the identity of the owner's wife, reigning pharaoh or cult in which he served. The texts, therefore, provide a wealth of information concerning a variety of different individuals, their occupations, genealogy, etc. and are considered an essential component of collections of Egyptian antiquities throughout the world.
Dimensions: height 5.5 inches (14 centimeters), width 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters)
Provenance: Dr Ulrich Mueller, private Swiss collection acquired between 1968 - 1978.
Hairline crack to the main face that does not detract, fragmentary as described on museum quality custom mount.