Four Egyptian canopic jars to make $80,000 in California?

A set of four limestone Egyptian canopic jars will provide the headline lot of a sale of artefacts at Ancient Resource LLC.

Sold as a single lot, they are expected to bring $60,000-80,000 at the March 1 auction in Montrose, California.

canopic jars Egyptian antique
The canopic jars date to the Late Period of Ancient Egypt

The jars, sculpted into the four heads of Horus, date to a time around the 26th-30th Dynasty known as the Late Period (664-343 BC) and would have been used to store the organs of the mummified person.

The examples offered are in exceptional condition and have retained some of the resins and oils used in the embalming process.

The preserved head of an Egyptian mummy is offered with a $30,000-40,000 estimate.

Dating to the era of the New Kingdom (1570-1075 BC), the well-preserved head is likely to be that of a royal or high official - mummification was reserved for high status members of society.

In 2010, a lesser example of a mummy head sold for $31,070 at Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

A mummified hand, purportedly Cleopatra's, is valued at $25,000-30,000.

It was previously the centrepiece of a collection owned by General Bowser, who acquired it in Egypt in 1794. It is in an exceptional state of preservation and is presented in a mahogany case along with various contemporary notes on the item's provenance.

Allegedly the general discovered a sarcophagus in an excavated tomb that bore an inscription indicating it was the resting place of the pharaoh - a story that seems unlikely as, to date, Cleopatra's tomb remains lost.

Despite this, the hand is an exceptional item, with a fascinating history.

The auction house has previously offered the Cleopatra hand.

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