Statuettes of naked women with incomplete legs, like this example, have been found in Middle Kingdom tombs and houses. Early Egyptologists mistakenly identified them as concubines intended to provide the spirits of men with an eternity of sexual pleasure.
Recent studies show that both men and women used these figures to ensure fertility. In the home, they were believed to enhance a wife's fruitfulness and a husband's potency by invoking Hathor, the goddess of sexual love. As tomb offerings, they guaranteed the deceased's sexual power in the afterlife.
- Medium: Faience
- Place Made: Egypt
- Dates: ca. 1938-1630 B.C.E.
- Dynasty: XII Dynasty-early XIII Dynasty
- Period: Middle Kingdom
- Dimensions: 1 15/16 x 13/16 in. (5 x 2 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
- Accession Number: 44.226
- Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Fertility Figurine, ca. 1938-1630 B.C.E. Faience, 1 15/16 x 13/16 in. (5 x 2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 44.226. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Best (84%)