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Cartonnage: E.103a.1911

An image of Cartonnage

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Object information


Cartonnage mummy cover of the head and upper part of the torso of a man moulded in plaster over bandages and reeds. The man wears a toga, with a veil draped over his head; exposing locks of curly hair at the front. His hands are crossed on his chest - he holds a floral garland in his right and papyrus roll in his left. Around the top of the head is a band with a carnelian bead in the centre of a laurel wreath. Both inlaid eyes are lost and the right eye has suffered considerable damage. The whole surface is gilded except for the floral bouquet which is painted pink, the papyrus roll - white, the eyebrows - black, and the back of the head was painted with the four sons of Horus - two on either side.

The cover was found on a mummy of a man at Hawara in a room above the ground rather than in a tomb. It was inserted into the mummy wrappings and was originally held in place by linen straps (traces of which remain) threaded through holes punched in the edges. The eyes of the mask would have been secured with gypsum plaster, fragments of which remain. X-radiography revealed intricate details beneath the crumpled cartonnage leaves on the forehead – a separately made wreath consisting of a hoop of vegetable fibre to which the leaves were tied, together with small plaster berries on vegetable fibre stalks. In the centre of the hoops is a carnelian bead set in plaster.

The mask forms part of object E.103b.1911 gilded cartonnage Roman footcase.

Measurements and weight

Depth: 20 cm
Height: 74 cm
Width: 42 cm

Relative size of this object

42 cm74 cm20 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Find spot

  • Hawara Egypt

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given by Egypt Exploration Fund


Circa -0030 - Circa 100

School or Style


Materials used in production

Wood Linen Plaster

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.103a.1911
Primary reference Number: 118844
Oldadmincategory: SS
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 March 2021 Last processed: Thursday 8 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Antiquities

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Cartonnage" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-16 09:07:16

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=|title=Cartonnage|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-16 09:07:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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        alt="Cartonnage" class="img-fluid" />
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