Funerary cone of Qen
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18–20
Davies & MacAdam 538
Height x diameter: 3.7 x 8.5 cm (1 7/16 x 3 3/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
This is a funerary cone fragment of reddish clay with tapering cone element broken off and missing. Traces of light priming remain. A circular stamp on the head carries hieroglyphic text in an undivided register to identify the owner as “High Priest of Mut, Lord of Ishru, Qen, True-of-Voice” (Hm-nTr tpy n Mwt nb(.t) iSrw qn mAa xrw).
(Note: Ishru = the precinct of Mut at the temple at Karnak)
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.
Davies and Macadam, A Corpus of Inscribed Egyptian Funerary Cones (1957), type #538.
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)
Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way