Millennial Star reports on missionaries in Vienna seeing hypocephali in museum; official guide of the museum compares them with Facsimile 2 of Book of Abraham.

Oct 15, 1903
The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star
Scribed Summary

"Head Supports of the Mummies," Millennial Star 65, no. 42 (October 15, 1903): 665–666

The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star
John A. Mathis, James L. Barker, The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, Michael Chandler, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Latter-day Saints, Reading Public


ELDERS JAMES L. BARKER and John A. Mathis of the Swiss mission are laboring in Vienna. They have many difficulties but report a bright outlook. Among their investigators is a copper printer and his family. His sons are graduates of the Vienna Conservatory of Music. These young men sing our hymns in German and English, and are making excellent progress, the Elders state, in the Gospel. Other friends are an Albanian doctor, two Russian students and other students and families.

The Elders enclose the following translation from page forty—three of the official guide to the Imperial Museum of Art History at Vienna:

“Room IV. Case IV. Numbers 40 and 44.

"'Hypokephalen' or head supports of the mummies, with round pieces of linen, coated with yellow, upon which mythological representations and inscriptions are drawn with black ink. In the middle the god Rá with four ram's heads. The holy book of the Mormons is such a 'Hypokephal.””

The Elders state that the representations are similar to those which appear on the cuts in the Pearl of Great Price.

There are three pictures which accompany the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. These, together with the papyrus containing the writing of Abraham, were obtained by Joseph Smith in the year 1835, and were deciphered by him. They were bought by the Saints at Kirtland, Ohio, with four mummies, from Michael H. Chandler. The mummies had been discovered near the ancient city of Thebes in Egypt by a French traveler, and at his death were bequeathed to his nephew in America, who sold them to the Saints. The pictures and translation appeared in the Times and Seasons in 1842. How the Vienna museum learned that the pictures were taken from the hypokephal we are curious to learn.

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