martes, 4 de noviembre de 2014

Cartonnage of Princess Baket, Dyn. 18

 Cartonnage of Princess Baket, Dyn. 18

This is one of the cartonnage trappings of the mummy of Great Royal Princess Baket, daughter of Thutmose III, Dynasty 18. This piece, which once laid on the chest of the mummy of the princess, depicts Goddess Isis wrapping her protective arms/wings over the defunct. A thin gold band highlights her headdress, capped by the solar disk and the cow horns, attributes of Isis.She is framed by two identical columns of hieroglyphs proclaiming: “Great Baket. It's me.” On both sides beneath her wings, offering tables are presented by the king wearing the crown of upper Egypt.

 In all likelihood, this piece was commissioned by her father the king, and the goddess was thus depicted assuming the physical appearance and wearing the favorite attire of the deceased young princess. And so, this may very well be a faithful portrait of the lovely Princess who, 3,500 years ago, wore those opulent jewels and diaphanous dress.

 Cartonnage was a material used in the production of personal funerary ornamentation (masks, pectorals, foot casings, and sometimes whole coffins).

 It was made with several layers of linen glued together and shaped in a mold. The resulting shell was usually coated on one side with gesso (a mixture of glue and whiting plaster). This smooth medium was well suited to detailed painting and gold leafing.

 Although earlier examples are known, it is around Dynasty 18 that cartonnage became a material of choice, and it remained a popular medium though the roman period. In later times, the linen layers were sometimes replaced with recycled papyrus documents. Many of the papyri currently studied by Egyptologists were recovered from cartonnage.

Bibliography (for this item)
Gauthier, Henri
 1912 Le livre des rois d’Egypte. Tome 2: de la XIIIe à la fin de la XVIIIe dynastie. Institut Français d’Archeologie Orientale, Cairo, Egypt. (

Hart, George
 1986 A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, United Kingdom. (

Matouk, Fouad S.
 1971 Corpus du scarabé égyptien. Tome 1: Les scarabés royaux. Fouad Matouk, Beyrut, Lebanon. (
 55, 184)
Period:  Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, Thutmose III/Menkheperre
Dating:  1504 BC–1450 BC
Origin:  Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes
Material:  Cartonnage (all types)
Physical:  41.5cm. (16.2 in.) - 
Catalog:  PLA.XL.00547

Bibliography (on Cartonnage)
Duke University,
 1991 Duke Papyrus Archive., Durham, NC.

 Lucas, A., and J.R. Harris
 1999 Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries (unabridged republication of the 1962 fourth edition by Edward Arnold Publishers). Dover Publications, New York, NY.

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