Glass; H. (each drum) 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1921 (21.2.2)
This fanciful arrangement indicates the range of a group of fine glass inlays and shrine elements that were purchased together. Included are monochromatic figural elements (human or divine), monochromatic and mosaic hieroglyphic and decorative elements, and red column drums, along with other types of material not pictured: bits of gilded plaster, long bronze rods for threading the drums together, large bronze sockets, and bronze bolts in the form of the "door bolt" and "union" hieroglyphs. While many elements are clearly related, their variable size, style, and degree of finish suggest that the group actually represents an accumulation of material. The face inlays are of the type termed Sebennytic Ptolemaic, and minute mosaic designs indicate a similar date.
Wooden shrines densely inlaid with figural, hieroglyphic, and decorative glass elements are known from the late sixth century B.C. onward, while glass hieroglyphs appear on fourth-century wooden coffins and glass figures adorn Ptolemaic and later cartonnage and plaster mummy covers. Inlay elements might be placed in separate cells or be contiguously adhered on a common background. Drums of glass, faience, and Egyptian blue from small shrine columns have been found at numerous sites in Egypt of the Ptolemaic Period or later and at Delos in Greece; apparently, red and blue sections would ideally have alternated with gilded wood sections.