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Cartonnage: E.GA.2897.1943

An image of Cartonnage

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Object information


An open work, low-relief gilded cartonnage overlay depicting an ape-headed god, most probably Hapy (one of the four Sons of Horus). Hapy stands on a square plinth and holds some type of garment/length of folded cloth in his hands.

The piece of openwork is made from approximately four layers of densely tabby woven linen impregnated with adhesive. The fibres are ‘s’ plied. The linen was cut to shape prior to the application of the preparation layer or gilding. Black sketch lines are visible on the back of the piece.

After cutting, a white calcite preparation layer was applied to the front of the linen; in areas this has also covered the edges of the linen. The preparation layer has been applied thicker in areas to build up the low relief decoration. The gold leaf was applied directly to the surface of the preparation layer, folding around the edges of the piece. It is unclear if an adhesive was used or if there is a binder in the preparation layer.

The back of the linen is coated with a partial layer of black resin. The textile impressions in this layer suggest that it was used to adhere the openwork piece to a cartonnage or textile base. There are small patches of this black resin on the front of the gilding.

Measurements and weight

Height: 21.3 cm
Thickness: 0.1 cm
Width: 5.4 cm

Relative size of this object

5.4 cm21.3 cm1 mm 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

  • Egypt

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1943) by Gayer-Anderson, R. G. (Major)


Late Period
-0700 - 30 -0030

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.GA.2897.1943
Primary reference Number: 57322
Oldadmincategory: M
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 March 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 24 March 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 (2020) "Cartonnage" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-01-28 21:38:14

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=|title=Cartonnage|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-01-28 21:38:14|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="" alt="cartonnage" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">cartonnage</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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