Collection Online

Head covering of Padihorpasheraset
1st century AD-2nd century AD

cartonnage, gilt, glass paste, pigment
53.7 × 35.9 × 30.1 cm
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1995
Gallery location
Fashion & Textiles Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Elaborately decorated cartonnage head covering. The deceased wears a lappet wig, behind the ears and what appears to be a collar, between the lappets on the chest. Around the brow is a fillet tied at the back, with a sun's disc in the centre of the forehead and the owner's name 'Padihorpasheraset' inscribed in hieroglyphs across the brow. Over the top of the deceased's head is a winged scarab and behind this, on the back of the head, is a 'ba' bird with wings outstretched- representing the soul of the deceased- and grasping 'shen' signs in each claw- the symbol for eternity. Below this is the tie of the fillet which has uraeii on either side wearing 'ankh' signs around their bodies. Below the fillet, on the lower back of the covering is a representation of a 'djed' pillar surmounted by a winged scarab beetle with a sun disc above it, the scarab beetle pushing the sun into the sky symbolising rebirth and regeneration. The 'djed' pillar is flanked by 'tit' signs, or the 'girdle of Isis', which symbolise the protective powers of the goddess Isis. On either side of the covering are panels depicting the goddesses Isis and Nephthys, respectively. The lappets on the front of the covering are decorated with identical panels depicting the deceased as a mummy, standing in front of the god Osiris who is shown seated on a throne, on a platform. The covering is decorated in various colours, including blue, red, black, pale yellow, pink and khaki green. The face is gilded, as are the ears, collar, fillet, the winged scarab, the four figures within the two panels on the front of the lappets and various decorative motifs around the wig on the front. The facial features are moulded and the eyes and eyebrows are inlaid with glass, dark blue for the eyebrows and outline of the eyes, opaque white glass for the whites of the eyes and clear glass painted black on the back for the pupils. There are slight traces of linen bandage stuck across the back of the covering. The front right lappet is damaged at the base and the covering has been touched up previously in many places.