Cartonnage panel of winged scarab
Hellenistic period, Ptolemaic Dynasty
Length x height: 45 x 13 cm (17 11/16 x 5 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Egyptian Funerary Arts Gallery (Mummies) (Gallery 109)
This painted cartonnage (painted, plaster-soaked linen) panel from the trappings of a mummy depicts an image that relates to rebirth symbolism. A winged scarab likely represents Khepri, a manifestation of the sun-god specifically at rising (i.e. resurrection) on the morning horizon. Painted detailing is rendered with black liness. The main scarab figure is blue, while the wings are light orange, blue, and green. Some chips are missing from edges and the surface, affecting in particular the front and back extremes of the beetle’s legs, but it is largely intact.
By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.
Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way