1700-1900: British Collectors

Egypt was a popular travel destination throughout the 1800s. It was considered fashionable amongst wealthy British people because of the warm climate and appeal of the ancient past. Between 1882 and 1956, Egypt was largely under the control of Britain. These political circumstances created opportunities for British collectors to visit Egypt and take objects home as souvenirs to impress their friends. Large antiquities like statues were desirable, but were often too difficult to bring home. Animal mummies were smaller, easily portable yet still had novelty value. Many examples arrived in Britain with travellers in this way. The diaries of many travellers describe the sights they witnessed and the antiquities they purchased.