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From DesignerKylin

12th May 07

Real or fake?

Canopic jars







Isis and infant Horus statue




  From Gary D

13th May 07



Item one the Canopic Jars.


I am not a collector of canopic jars but could not help but notice the stoppers, Duamatef and the unknown person were an ill fit with the bases. Stylistically I would put them around New Kingdom in basic design but the stoppers are out of proportion with the jars, in one case equal in height to the base the jars are tubular in shape with no evidence of rounding which is typical of these items, the finish is in fact somewhat crude and" stumpy" and no hieroglyphs as to ownership, albeit this aspect is not mandatory.


In short there is pictures of canopic jars in many publications from museums etc and a comparison here tends to make you wonder about its authenticity.


References. Museum catalogues.. various

                   Canopic Equipment in the Petrie Collection by Raisman & C.T. Martin



Item 2  Ptah Sokar Osiris


Generally referred to as being in the New Kingdom into the Late Period and often has a base, or miniature sarcophagus on which the statuette stands. I am not sure what material this item was made from but in the far right picture it appears to be wood. I can not comment on the wood used (not clear enough) but wood tends to fit with the miniature sarcophagus base concept. Otherwise there is no headdress or signs of there having been one, usually rams horns ,sun disk and plumes there is no evidence of a beard which was common to this deity the colours are unusual, and whilst the overall shape is correct in that it is mummiform the usual wig colour is black, not green the hieroglyhs sadly are not clear enough to read albeit they appear to start with the Htp di nsw frormula which is far from rare.


Sorry but this one also has me wondering about its authenticity.


References. Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt by Manfred Lurker

                    Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt Richard Wilkinson..good illustration page 124

                     Mummies and Magic,The Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt Museum of Fine Arts Boston

                     Gods of Ancient Egypt by Barabra Waterson



Item 3  Isis and Infant Horus


This piece is found in a variety of forms from amulets through to bronze statuettes and stone pieces. This one however seems to be well outside the usual in that; there is no throne headpiece or any other variation as is consistent with depictions of this deity the scene it depicts is typically that of the Goddess Isis holding her breast with the right hand in preparedness for feeding the naked this case the arm of Isis appears to be placed across the lap of the infant.


It is difficult to tell from the photo but the side lock is correctly shown on the right of the infant... what is unusual is what appears to be hair on his left side as well the wig if it is in fact a wig does not correlate with the usual depictions and the face is simply non regal and unegypytian the whole piece is not crisp in its execution  


In summary this appears to be a poorly executed rendition of a well known piece, ....simply once again too crude and clumsy.



                  As abovementioned for Ptah Osiris Sokar plus

                  Magic of Amulets by Carol Andrews



Bron it's a shame we do not know where these pieces originated from or how much was paid. Authenticity, well if I was offered the pieces I would decline. For the sake of Designer Kylin I hope I am proven wrong.



Gary D


Thanks for that.

I did create these pages a few months ago.




 From  Alexander

14th May 07

Judging from photographs is usually difficult but and style (and canon) are important.

In this case style is the only thing we can go for, because the material doesn't help. Well, I am not even sure what the material is. The colours on the photographs can give the wrong impression. I suppose that the jars are made out of (roughly hewn) limestone, but they do also look like a trunk of wood. The lids probably are limestone too, but they could also be terracotta. I am not sure.

Anyway, if stone the only way is to look for traces of modern tools; if they are present, they must be fake. On the photographs this cannot be seen. Look for parallel lines, for example.

If they are wood or terracotta, tests are available, if you would like them to be tested.

But my main concern is style.

The head of Duamutef (the jackal headed deity) is asymmetrical, the proper left eye is considerably lower than the right eye. This is not what a good artist would have done. The Amsety-head (human head) seems so be somewhat better (but not perfect).

Both heads are relatively tall, including a part of the upper body, whereas such lids usually are much smaller, showing only the head. But exceptions to this do exist.

The jars are very roughly made. Yet they do seem to belong to the lids; same colour, and notice how the (not very horizontal) upper side of the Amsety jar fits to the (compensating) bottom of the lid; they fit perfectly. But if they do belong together, WHY would some artist pay so much attention to the faces and leave the work on the jars rough as it is?

Besides, one would expect a different shape for the jars, and lids that do fit better than these do. After all they were stoppers, intended to protect the contents of the jars.

As is the case with the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris statue, oddly made canopic jars do exist, worse than these. Still, I do not like the ones you have.

What makes it worse is that canopic jars are popular items; they are made quite a lot today in workshops in Qurna and elsewhere, and you can find them in almost any shop in Egypt that sells "tourist junk", as I usually call it. I have seen pieces very similar to yours there, also recently.

In short: I would say "No" (but as always: I could be wrong).


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