Dummy Canopic Jar of Qebehsenuef - False Canopic Jars Ex. Gustave Jéquier

Dummy Canopic Jar of Qebehsenuef - False Canopic Jars Ex. Gustave Jéquier

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A nice "dummy" or "false" limestone canopic jar! Shows nice workmanship even though the tradition of using Canopic jars for the organs started to cease by this period as the organs were being wrapped and placed back into the body. Sometimes these "dummy" Canopic jars were placed in a Canopic box and other times they were placed within holes in the floor. This example is intact said for missing section to one side as seen in the photo. Made of a single piece of limestone, the top is contiguous with the bottom and there is no inner cavity. During the Third Intermediate Period, between the 21st and 25th dynasties, a change in embalming practices led to the temporary abandonment of canopic jars. Measures 4 inches and approx 1/2 lb. 

During mummification certain organs were removed, such as the lungs, the liver, the stomach, and the intestines. Taken out, they were embalmed separately, and stored in canopic jars. These vessels were named after a Greek sailor named Canopus, who is believed to be buried at Canopus (Abuqir) in the western Delta and worshiped there in the form of a human-headed jar. Each of the organs was identified by the jar they lay in. The Four Sons of Horus were used as keep of the organs: the liver with Imsety (man's head), the lungs with Hapy (baboon's head), the stomach with Duamutef (jackal's head), and the intestines with Qebehsenuef (falcon's head). The four gods were in turn placed under the protection of four goddesses, Imsety being associated with Isis, Hapy with Nephthys, Duamutef with Neith, and Qebehsenuef with Selkis. This example however was only used for symbolic reasons and would have never made it to become a functional jar.

For reference see: Reisner, Canopics, Published in 1967. Impr. de l'Institut français d'archeìologie orientale.

Provenance: Collected by Gustave Jéquier (1868-1946)

Ex. Billy Jamieson Collection, 2009 (1954-2011)

Authentication: Gayle Gibson, Royal Ontario Museum Toronto

Galleria Delvecchio .… “is pleased to present a collection of Egyptian antiquities assembled by the celebrated Swiss Egyptologist Gustave Jéquier. Jéquier was born in 1868 in Neuchatel. He first studied in Paris under Gaston Maspero (1846-1916) and later went to Berlin before joining the de Morgan expedition to Persia, during which time he contributed to the discovery and decipherment of the code of Hammurabi. Gustave Jéquier was a giant in the field of Egyptology whose contributions are far too numerous to list here. He is best known for his association with the French Institute in Cairo which enabled him to engage in seminal research at the pyramid site of the Old Kingdom. He also completed the work begun at Abydos by his Swiss compatriot, [Henri] Eduard Naville (1844-1926). The two are considered to be Switzerland’s most preeminent Egyptologists. One of Jéquier’s most important discoveries was the 13th Dynasty pyramid of Khendjer. He wrote extensively on his history of Egyptian architecture, and published on philology and religion as well. Gustave Jéquier died in 1946 in the city in which he was born, and most of his collection was acquired by the University of Basel. The works of art presented here were given to a sibling who emigrated to the US in the late 1940’s; the collection later passed to their daughter, Jéquier’s niece.”