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Own a Piece of a 3,000-Year-Old Mummy

Wondering what to get the Halloween enthusiast who has everything? How about a fragment of mummy wrap from 12000 - 1300 BCE. This “Mummy Cloth with early Metropolitan Museum of Art Provenance” is offered by James Cummins Bookseller, in their upcoming online catalogue, Folklore, the Occult, and the Macabre. The “torn strip of undyed plain weave linen mummy wrap,” measures 4 x 2 inches and is described as “well-worn from original use.” The inscription on the envelope it was found in reads:

"Mummy cloth of Juono firte - an Egyptian lady who lived during 20th dynasty (1200 or 1300 B.C.) found at Thebes - unwrapped at Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Dr Prime, January 8th 1887. (Cloth given to me by Miss di Cesnola)"

According to the catalogue description, “In 1886 the Metropolitan Museum of Art, under the direction of its first director Luigi Palma di Cesnola, made its first purchase of Egyptian works of art, a purchase which is memorable because it was the beginning of the relationship between the Museum and M. Gaston Maspero, the Director General of Antiquities in Egypt. Most likely, Mr. Cesnola's wife who was a member of the institution was there for the unwrapping of a new acquisition done by the first vice president of the museum Dr. William C. Prime. Dr. Prime was also on the committee on objects of art in 1887, and with his insistence Princeton University established a department of art history in which he was chair.”

The Folklore, the Occult, and the Macabre catalogue will be available online on October 18, but don’t wait until then to browse their website. James Cummins is renowned for their selection of fine and rare books, autographs, manuscripts, and works of art. With over 50,000 catalogued titles and 400,000 titles in their New Jersey locations, you are bound to find the book you are looking for at jamescumminsbookseller.com

Visiting the city? Be sure to stop by their store, located at 699 Madison Ave. It is a “seventh-floor oasis for book-lovers.”

This is a fascinating piece of Egyptian burial practice with a provenance of the established direction of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during one of the most important acquisition periods of the museum, but If you’re not in the market for a mummy wrap (or worried it may be accompanied by an ancient curse), there are plenty of other rare finds at James Cummins Bookseller, including a 19th century book on the Scottish Witchcraft Trials; a Limited Edition (#362 0f 600), signed copy of the 40th Anniversary edition of William Peter Blatty’s, The Exorcist; a first edition, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M.R. James, considered one of the greatest ghost-story writers of all time, and much more…

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