Face of a coffin

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


Height x width: 15 x 14 cm (5 7/8 x 5 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This is the face component of an anthropoid coffin of plastered & painted wood. The face is painted painted reddish brown. Remnant paint on the figure’s headdress indicates that it was painted with large patches of green-black and areas of alternating white and green-black stripes divided by red lines. The eyes and eyebrows are both inlaid. Only the right eye inlay remains, while the left eye hollow retains the adhesive plaster for the missing inlay. The eye inlay is travertine (Egyptian alabaster) with black pupils. Most of the eyebrow inlays are missing. The mouth is chipped, and a crack runs diagonally across the bridge of the nose.


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