Canopic jar lid (Imsety)

Late Period, Dynasty 25–30
760–332 B.C.


Height x diameter: 11.1 x 13.3 cm (4 3/8 x 5 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Canopics and canopic boxes

This is a lid to a canopic jar fashioned of pottery. It has been given the form fo a bell-shaped human head. Traces of paint remain: very small areas of light blue along the edges of the face with darker stripes of black variably preserved over the majority of the head. The face is painted gray to gray-brown, the eyes white, and the eyebrows (and other eye details) black. No traces of glaze are evident. Horizontal bands of black, red, and blue (now somewhat faint) likely depict a necklace/collar.


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.
(Accession date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way