The Archeological Museum of Como includes an interesting Collectibles Section, including an original Egyptian mummy and many different objects from different eras and locations.
The section dedicated to 19th century archaeological collecting presents findings of different cultures acquired mostly thanks to the legacy of an important private collector from Como, Alfonso Garovaglio. In this section there are currently exhibited, the Greek and Magno-Greek vases, the bronzes, the gems, the coins, as well as the prehistoric collection of Innocenzo Regazzoni.
The Egyptian collection includes a thousand objects collected or purchased to document various aspects of the artistic production of ancient Egypt, or for scientific curiosity, such as stuffed animals and mummies.
A sarcophagus in cartonnage stands out, consisting of various layers of stuccoed and carefully painted canvas, which preserves inside it the mummy of the priestess Isiuret. The sarcophagus adorns numerous images of deities accompanied by inscriptions invoking protection, in which appear the name of the deceased, her titles and her genealogy. In 1990 the mummy of Isiuret was submitted to the TAC at the "S. Anna "of Como, who established the age of the priestess between 18 and 30 years.
Among the other findings there are numerous shabti, the faience or wood statuettes which, placed in the tombs, according to Egyptian magic-religious beliefs, served the function of serving the deceased in the afterlife, as well as several small bronzes, the statuettes representing the most popular and widespread divinities, in particular the triad consisting of Osiris, Isis and his son Horo.
In ancient Egypt there was ample use of amulets, with the main purpose of protecting the body and every aspect of life itself. The beetles, in particular, guaranteed the deceased the continuation of every vital function in the afterlife, since the scarab was identified with the symbol of the sun god Ra at its rise: the hieroglyph in the shape of a scarab has in fact the meaning of "becoming", "Renewal", and this meaning led to the diffusion of funerary use.
The most prestigious hall of the museum, the Perrone hall, hosts four hundred Greek and Magno-Greek figurative vases in four crystal showcases. The main ceramics classes of ancient Greece are represented (Corinthian ceramics, Attic with black figures and red figures), which are flanked by valuable products of italiot ceramography, in particular apula and bell, as well as vases with geometric decoration of the indigenous peoples of ancient Puglia . The images of Attic vases introduce us into a universe that has now disappeared, between warriors and deities, exemplary citizens and heroes of myth; full of suggestions and ritual valences, the apulian vases with red figures, on which appear nuptial scenes and enigmatic female faces, evoke the multiform world of Dionysus; vivacious and lively, the vases produced in ancient Paestum bring us once again to the Dionysian imaginary, like the little Eros painted by the painter Asteas, or reflect the aspects of everyday life, like the plate with figures of fish.
Equally noteworthy, the vases of the ancient Apulia populations show rich decorative patterns played on the alternation of geometric patterns in red and black.
The collection of gems and glass gems is displayed in the center of the room where the large canvases depicting some figures of the Giovio family are on the walls.
There are 66 carvings ranging from Etruscan-Italian scarabs from the 4th century BC to the neoclassical gems of the 19th century AD, although the most consistent nucleus is represented by the Roman-imperial age specimens. At the center of the disaply there are many replicas of originals that collectors commissioned to enrich their collection, made of glass paste of various colors.
In the adjacent room there is a part of the remarkable Numismatic Collection of the Museum, which was enriched by the copious Ambrosoli donation. The coins cover a chronological range from the Greek age to the modern age and come from all regions from Italy and the most disparate countries of the five continents.
A small room hosts, in two restored nineteenth-century windows, about 160 bronzes, mostly votive statuettes, but also amulets, furnishing elements, instruments. A showcase collects the bronzes of Italic production between the seventh and the 2nd century BC depicting a deity or, more often, a devotee who makes an offer. On the other hand, the second showcase contains Roman examples: numerous small bronzes depict religious subjects and were placed in temples or larari, domestic temples, but also domestic furnishings were often decorated with bronze figures.
The hall of the Regazzoni collection is noteworthy because it faithfully reproduces the original nineteenth-century setting, of which the windows have been reused; on a wall there is a fresco representing the pile-dwelling sites of Lake Varese, painted just for the first exhibition. Hundreds of blades, splinters, flint arrowheads, polished stone axes, fragments of vases, animal remains, wooden artifacts, horn and bone artifacts from France, Switzerland, Poland, Denmark and even some from America.