Collections: Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art: Palette with Two Stylized Bird Heads

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Wild Man Mask

This mask represents Bak’was, a malevolent, ghostly spirit and the keeper of drowned souls in Kwakwaka&rsq...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Forest Scene

    For Diaz, like so many of the Barbizon painters, the Fontainebleau Forest outside of Paris proved a constant source of inspiration. In these...


    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


    16.580.126_front_PS2.jpg 16.580.126_back_PS2.jpg CUR.16.580.126_tlf.jpg 16.580.126_transpC002.jpg

    Palette with Two Stylized Bird Heads

    The Egyptians ground galena and mixed it with animal fat to make the eyeliner called kohl. Palettes like this one are known from earliest times in Egypt and were used as a base for the grinding process.

    • Medium: Slate or schist
    • Place Collected: Gebelein, Egypt
    • Dates: ca. 3500-3100 B.C.E.
    • Period: Predynastic Period, late Naqada II Period to Naqada III Period
    • Dimensions: 5 1/16 x 3/8 x 11 5/8 in. (12.9 x 1.0 x 29.5 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 16.580.126
    • Credit Line: Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Palette with Two Stylized Bird Heads, ca. 3500-3100 B.C.E. Slate or schist, 5 1/16 x 3/8 x 11 5/8 in. (12.9 x 1.0 x 29.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.580.126. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 16.580.126_transpC002.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Wedge-shaped slate palette, with rounded corners, slightly blunted tip. Decorated on broad end with two falcon-heads, half of the beak cut out, the remainder marked by deep groove. On both heads a round eye is carved out on each face, and inlaid with perforated flat bead of shell that fills the whole space; its center is filled with some dark paste. Perforated by a string-hole in middle beneath heads; thin. One face flat, the other slightly convex. Brownish grey slate. Condition: Tip battered. One beak broken off and missing, with traces of glue at break. (Wilbour’s sketch shows two heads.) From the surface of adjacent head, on convex face, a thin flake that had been chipped off was glued on again in modern times. Other beak badly battered on both faces. On the flat face at right border, a small flake was chipped off and glued on. Slightly scratched and rubbed.
    • Record Completeness: Best (87%)
    advanced 110,591 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.