Carved in fine white limestone, this plaque carved in sunk relief served as a mold. The image represents a squatting heron, known by the Egyptians as a benu bird. The benu, associated with rebirth, was the origin of the mythical phoenix.
By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way. (Accession date: June 28, 1872)
Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way