Face of a coffin

Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21–24
1070–700 B.C.


Height x width x depth: 20 x 16.8 x 6.5 cm (7 7/8 x 6 5/8 x 2 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This is the face component of a likely anthropoid coffin of plastered & painted wood. The face is painted yellow, the eyes white and black, and the eyebrows black to blue-black. An elaborate design is painted to represent the hair/headdress. Horizontal bands of blue-black cover the majority of the head with a band running across. Remnant spots of a somewhat lighter blue suggest this color may have overlaid much of the blue-black areas. The headband is comprised of square registers with alternating designs: blue-black with a central white circle and vertical bands of white, red, and blue/blue-black. There is significant chipping and flaking of the surface treatments along the upper edge of the head.


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