Cartonnage panel of vulture

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


Height x width: 24 x 46 cm (9 7/16 x 18 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Mummy trappings

This decorated cartonnage (painted, plaster-soaked linen) panel was originally part of mummy trappings. The figure depicts an image that may relate to rebirth symbolism, possibly intended to refer to the ba-bird (a “spiritual” aspect of a deceased person), or protection in the form of a vulture-deity. The vulture, wearing the atef-crown (associated with the god Osiris), holds an ostrich feather (symbol of order, truth) in each talon. The lower portions of the feathers and the talons themselves have broken off. Additional feather and body detailing is rendered with black lines with light orange, blue, and green. Some fragments are torn away and are missing.


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: September 23, 1992)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way