Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Wrath of Osiris

PropMovieStudios brings us one of the more obscure props to appear here.  They've recreated the Osiran blowpipe from "Young Sherlock Holmes", a movie that to this day I find unaccountably scary. 


David Kirkby said...

Beautiful. I agree with it being still a bit scary, when I saw it at the cinema i closed my eyes on the bit with the priest and the stain glass window. For years I didn't know what happened until I bought the DVD recently.

CoastConFan said...

That IS an obscure prop, but very well done and it has a nice presentation box. I wonder if the hieroglyphics on the pipe say anything or are just random prop decoration. The idea of hallucinogenic darts is not far off the mark as the ancient Egyptians may have commonly used a plant that may have been a (now extinct) version of the sacred Nile Blue Lotus, that had some interesting narcotic properties, see Lotus-eaters. First mentioned in Homer’s poem, The Odyssey (8th century BCE) and later Herodotus comments (contemporaneously) about its use in the 5th century BCE. See also: for an interesting article.

Actually lotos may mean a variety of suspect plants even up to the opium poppy along with a possible narcotic Nile Lotus variety. The British museum has a number of faience drinking cups in the form of a blue lotus. The fact that nobody really knows for sure or how far back the practice goes, is good fodder for Mythos support and background for your props.

The Egyptians certainly made metal straws to drink beer very early on and they employed metal blowpipes to heat up charcoal in forges by 200 BCE. It wouldn’t be much of a jump to take one of those metal straws and blow a dart out of it. Imagine in scribe class the kids shooting papyrus wads at each other. Some things never change.

theSchlitzie said...

I loved that movie with the stained glass knight and the pastries trying to crawl into Watson's mouth! hehe

Mister Lee said...

@CoastConFan The hieroglyphs are gibberish; some aren't even real characters. This is one of my constant complaints about Ancient Egyptian props and/or sets of all kinds. How hard would it be get some text that actually means something? As I recall, only the original Stargate movie had hieroglyphic text that read correctly.

CoastConFan said...

Well, doing “real” ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic text is a multi-stage problem. If you really wanted to do it up right, you need to put some work into it. Take your English text and translate it to Coptic, which is the modern version of spoken ancient Egyptian.

Then you can take the resulting phonetic sounds and match them up to a hieroglyph dictionary to get the words encoded. Now that doesn’t cover designator symbols, or Hieroglyphs that have stand-alone meanings, nor does it cover special ritual characters that are used only on funerary texts & etc. It won’t fool an Egyptologist for a moment and I don’t know the proper syntax or even correct sentence structure, but at least it will be a bit better than random decorative figures.

A basic hieroglyph dictionary with transliteration for very basic soundings:

free download:

The resulting hieroglyphs won’t fool an Egyptologist, but it is a step in the right direction. Another idea is to find known hieroglyphic segments that are already have translation and paste onto your project. A photo of a tomb curse would be useful or some translated text of the Egyptian Book of the Dead & etc. If you do it, you are a better man than I, Gunga Din!

Free download
Wikipedia article might help give a general feel:
Download several fonts in Hieroglyphics: