Funerary cone of Nebseny

New Kingdom, Dynasty 18–20
1550–1070 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Davies & MacAdam 275


Length x width x height: 15.2 x 12.7 x 6.4 cm (6 x 5 x 2 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

Funerary brick/cone fragment possibly employed in similar manner as true funerary cones, as suggested potentially by its tapering dimensions. Three sides are stamped with identical circular stamped impressions (2 per side) of hieroglyphic text in an undivided field; all are extremely faded and mostly indistinct; however, the complete text is identifiable from parallels. Text identifies the owner as “Wab-priest of the House of His Majesty, Nebseny” (wab n Hm.f Nb-sny). Some edges chipped.

Funerary cones were components of a frieze, inserted above the doors of private tombs, particularly in the Theban region. They have been variously interpreted as: name-plates of sorts to identify the tomb owner, decorative memorials, boundary markers for a tomb, dummy bread loaves or meat offerings, symbolic roof beams, or (for the visible circular head) depictions of the sun disk. However, the appearance of stamped impressions on three sides of this item could suggest placement separate from such friezes. The stamping of bricks with the name of a (royal or private) owner occurred in various periods of ancient Egyptian history.

For other examples of this tomb owner (on a true funerary cone) see: 72.1781.

Davies and Macadam, A Corpus of Inscribed Egyptian Funerary Cones (1957), type #275.


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