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Statuette of Hippopotamus

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor

Egyptian artists decorated statuettes of hippos with images of Nile flora and fauna. Common motifs included lotus buds, flowers, marsh grass, lily pads, frogs, water fowl, and insects. The legs of most statuettes were broken just before burial to ensure that they posed no threat to the tomb owner. Museum conservators restored the legs of many examples, including this one, to show how the statuettes looked when they were made.

MEDIUM Faience, painted
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty-XVII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom-Second Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 7/8 x 2 1/16 in. (2.3 x 5.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Statuette of Hippopotamus, ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E. Faience, painted, 7/8 x 2 1/16 in. (2.3 x 5.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.120. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE left, 36.120_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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