Monday, September 15, 2014

Terracotta Coffins

     Terracotta coffins (sometimes called "slipper" coffins) were often used by Egyptians who were less well off and could not afford one or more elaborate wooden coffins. The coffin in figure 1 is a fairly typical example of these funerary objects. Note the simplistic modeling of the face, arms and ears of the deceased. The remainder of the coffin is undecorated, although it may have been painted when originally used. This example is from Barcelona, but a similar coffin can be found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (see my post in this blog from October 26, 2012).

Figure 1 - Terracotta Coffin, Dynasty 19 or 20, Barcelona
Figure 2 - Terracotta Face of a Man, Dynasty 19 or 20
     The faces from terra-cotta coffins in figures 2 and 3 are very different. These faces (figure 2 is a man and figure 3 is a woman) are a bit more elaborately modeled and have details painted on, such as the bead necklaces shown as simple lines of different colors around the necks of the deceased. These items are so unusual that my first reaction upon seeing them was to wonder if they were authentic. 

     All three of these objects are in the Egyptian Museum in Barcelona.

Figure 3 - Terracotta Face of a Woman, Dynasty 19 or 20

All photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

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