Fragment of coffin decoration

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


Width x length: 13.5 x 34.8 cm (5 5/16 x 13 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

This fragment of a wooden coffin has well preserved painted decoration in white, red, yellow, and black. There is an overall white priming, much of which has worn or flaked off. Remaining decoration includes the upper portion of a falcon-headed sphinx with sun-disc and uraeus on its head (partially broken away). At the upper left the lower portion of a wing and uraeus cobra enter the field from the break. A black line at the lower right is the only trace of another element of the scene, of which no identification may be made from the remainder. The wood exhibits considerable insect damage.


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