Fragment of "Magic Knife"
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Used for magical protection, objects like this one are today commonly called “knives” because of their shape. The feline head on the end of this one draws upon the animal’s protective qualities. An early representation of the god Bes, or a Bes-like deity, incised on the knife enhances its magical potency.
Ancient Egyptians placed knives like this one on the stomachs of pregnant women during childbirth and on newborns to repel demons and disease. In the tomb, such knives provided protection for the deceased.
ca. 1759-after 1630 B.C.E.
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
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Fragment of "Magic Knife," ca. 1759-after 1630 B.C.E. Frit, 1 3/8 x 3 9/16 in. (3.5 x 9 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
, 16.580.145. Creative Commons-BY
. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Fragment of magic wand in deep blue frit. End with lion’s head in relief on both sides; shaft incised on one side with human legs supporting a vase and Bes holding serpents; on other, lion’s legs supporting jackal-head and tail and portion of body of Sebek-crocodile on stand.
Condition: Fragment. Some chips in preserved portion. Glaze has lost luster but preserved lapis-lazuli color.
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