This is the exceptionally well preserved cover of a canopic jar, made of limestone and dating to the Middle Kingdom. The cover has the form of a human head, probably depicting the god Imsety. He is wearing a tripartite wig, leaving the ears exposed, and has a short beard. The eyes and eyebrows are executed in fine relief.
Much of the original polychromy is preserved. The short beard was outlined in black, as were the eyes and eyebrows. The corners of the eyes were marked in red. The face and ears were painted yellow, and traces indicate that the wig was originally blue.
For similar canopic jar covers see George A. Reisner, Canopics. Revised, annotated and completed by Mohammad Hassan Abd-ul-Rahman (Catalogue Général du Musée du Caire, nos. 4001-4740 and 4977-5033) (Le Caire, Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 1967), especially nos. 4017, 4030-4032, 4059-4061; Jørgensen Mogens, Catalogue Egypt I (3000-1550 B.C.), Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 1996), p. 166f., no. 67.
Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, ca. 2000-1800 B.C.
Height 12.5 cm.
Collection Leu, Zürich, Switzerland; with Galerie Cybèle, Paris in 1999; thereafter Dutch private collection.
Exceptionally well preserved, including much of the original polychromy; just a few minor chips; a label from a previous collection and three small synthetic supports underneath.