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Comb with Human Image

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
This narrow comb originally had long teeth, and it was probably worn as a hair ornament. The long beard on the face resembles that on the carved tusk in this case. The eyes and eyebrows would have been inlaid in another material, such as black paste.
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 3500–3400 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Predynastic Period, early Naqada II Period
    DIMENSIONS 7/8 x 2 5/8 in. (2.2 x 6.6 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented; by 1910, acquired by Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing; before 1934, acquired from von Bissing by the Scheurleer Museum, the Hauge, the Netherlands; 1935, purchased from the Scheurleer Museum by the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth; 1935, purchased from the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Oblong ivory comb-handle surmounted by head of bearded (?) man. Circular eyes, originally inlaid, eyebrows incised and possibly inlaid originally. Prominent ears without detail. Pointed beard (?). Balance of handle undecorated. Probably intended as approximate representation of human body. Condition: Upper left corner missing, lower left corner broken off and replaced. All teeth of comb missing.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Comb with Human Image, ca. 3500–3400 B.C.E. Bone, 7/8 x 2 5/8 in. (2.2 x 6.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 35.1267. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.35.1267_NegB_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.35.1267_NegB_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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