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Head Covering of Padihorpasheraset

National Gallery of Victoria - Joy of Museums - Head Covering of Padihorpasheraset

The “Head Covering of Padihorpasheraset” is an elaborately decorated ancient Egyptian mummy case head covering or cartonnage. The presentation of the head of the deceased was especially important in ensuring survival in the next life. Coffins with the cartonnage, in which the head was emphasized had returned to popularity during the Ptolemic and Roman Periods when normally only certain sections of the wrapped body were covered with decorated cartonnage.

The owner’s name ‘Padihorpasheraset’ inscribed in hieroglyphs across the brow. The gilded head covering shows the Padihorpasheraset wearing a lappet wig, behind the ears and a collar, between the lappets on the chest. The lappets on the front of the covering are decorated with panels depicting Padihorpasheraset as a mummy, standing in front of the god Osiris who is shown seated on a throne. The head covering is decorated in various colours, including blue, red, black, pale yellow, pink and khaki green.

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.


Essential Facts:

  • Title:               Head Covering of Padihorpasheraset
  • Date:               1st – 2nd century
  • Medium:        Cartonnage, gilt, glass paste, pigment
  • Dimensions:  53.7 × 35.9 × 30.1 cm
  • Origins:          Egypt
  • Period:           Roman Period
  • Museum:       National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


“People bring about their own undoing through their tongues.”
Egyptian Proverb



Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons