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Mold for a heron or phoenix

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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.

Provenance

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)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way

Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty 25–30, 760–332 B.C.

Dimensions

Height x width x depth: 13.6 x 14.3 x 2.6 cm (5 3/8 x 5 5/8 x 1 in.)

Accession Number

72.699

Medium or Technique

Limestone

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Tools & equipment, Molds