Lot 36
  • 36

Two Egyptian Papyrus Fragments, Ptolemaic Period, circa 305-200 B.C.

12,000 - 18,000 USD
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  • Two Egyptian Papyrus Fragments
  • papyrus
  • 14 1/4 x 3 5/8 and 14 1/4 x 4 7/8 in. 36.2 x 9.2 and 36.2 x 12.4 cm.
written in twenty-seven lines of hieratic script with two incomplete columns of text from Spell 17 of the Book of the Dead, a frieze (not joining) of deities and barques above, the larger fragment showing four men, two wearing the Upper Egyptian crown and two wearing the Lower Egyptian crown, polling a barque, a ram standard in the center; laid separately on two pieces of light cardboard and held in place with clear plastic.


Elmer Adler (1884-1962), New York
The New York Times Collection of manuscripts, printed books and newspapers (Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, January 26th, 1965, no. 210, with its original Parke-Bernet folder)

Catalogue Note

The column on the right opens with the Great Tom Cat, Section 22, or a15, of Spell 17. The column on the left contains the beginning of the Spell except for a few words. This section includes the famous words “I am yesterday and I know tomorrow.”
At age 38 Elmer Adler left a successful career in the family clothing business in Rochester, New York and moved to New York City. Passionate about beautiful and unusual books, he became the head of Pynson Printers, organizer of The Colophon. Pynson Printers had a tremendous influence on fine printing in the 1920s and 30s, when the “art of the book” was very much in vogue. In 1924 Arthur Sulzberger of the New York Times leased him space in their new plant on West 43rd Street, where it appears Adler displayed items related to the history of writing acquired for their museum. Along with Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer he was a founder of Random House.