Egyptian Limestone Canopic Jar Fragment

SKU: MS.0070

Origin: Egypt
Circa: New Kingdom, c. 1550-1069 B.C.
Dimensions: 7.65" Height (19.4cms)
Medium: Limestone

With round shoulders and tapering body, with five columns of hieroglyphs, reading, 'Words to be spoken by Nephthys, you have shrouded your two arms upon she who is in you, that you might make protection over Hapy, who is in you. The revered one before Hapy, the Osiris, King's Ornament, Kafy.'


Private collection, Calgary, Canada; acquired 1982 in England

Fragment broken as shown in illustration. Repaired from two pieces, with repair line running from middle of rim in a crescent towards left hand edge (as facing from front) to top of broken curved edge, some visible glue residue on reverse. Exterior surface with overall mottled dark to light brown polished surface. Hieroglyphic text clear and crisp. Surface with number of nicks and scratches especially above text and below rim. Rim with worn surface chip on interior edge. Interior with unpolished mottled dark to light brown surface, with areas of darker pigment. Fragment edges with mix of sawn and rough surfaces.

The hieroglyphic inscription mentioning the god Hapy, the protector of the lungs, is in 'retrograde' orientation. The text is to be read in the same direction in which the signs face, contrary to normal practice. The origin of retrograde writing comes from primordial times as the Egyptians believed that anything magical and secret associated with funerary rituals should be be the privilege of only the few.

Another Canopic jar of Kafy is mentionned in G. Legrain, Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte, vol. 5, 1904, p. 141.

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