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Four late nineteenth century showcases containing eighteen fragments of the cover of the sarcophagus of Seti I, acquired by Soane with the sarcophagus in 1824.
Museum number: X73
According to a note by George Bailey, the first Curator of Sir John Soane's Museum (from 1837-1860): 'In the 'Description of the House and Museum', written by Sir J. Soane, the number of pieces are stated to be nineteen, apparently from being misnumbered in the Sketch of the Sarcophagus by Mr. Gandy'. In fact, this misunderstanding as to the number of pieces of the lid came about because a fragment of a canopic jar chest (X74) was mistakenly included by Gandy amongst the lid fragments in his detailed drawings. Sixteen fragments of the cover were pieced together under the direction of Joseph Bonomi, second Curator (1861-1878), and are in four cases (now in store; Bonomi displayed them in an area of the basement called the 'New Chamber'). Also now in the collection are another two small fragments of the lid discovered amongst rubbish at the entrance to the tomb of Seti in 1906 and presented to the Museum by Professor Alfred Wiedemann, a German archaeologist (Associate Professor of Archaeology at Bonn University from 1891), in 1910 (X59).
Permanently Magical: Restoration and Renewal of Sir John Soane's Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 2 July - 4 September 2010
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