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Mating Hippopotami

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Apparently a unique object, this temple offering features the heads of two animals emerging from a bell-shaped form. The type of animal is not clear. Although the heads and ears suggest that they are hippopotami, the scaly skin resembles that of a crocodile. Perhaps the animals are composites. The meticulous modeling and detail of the heads indicate the date.

MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664-30 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26 or later
    PERIOD Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 11 1/2 in. (14 x 9.5 x 29.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 36.262
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Mating Hippopotami, 664-30 B.C.E. Limestone, 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 11 1/2 in. (14 x 9.5 x 29.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.262. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.36.262_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Compact limestone (?) sculpture of two crocodiles enclosed in one body (?). Heads worked on great detail, body undecorated. Meaning unknown. Possible representation of the goddess Tanent. Condition: Good; one side of body has extensive black stains. Other side of body is considerably weathered, apparently by vegetal growth during burial. Minor chips on various parts of head. Very fine workmanship.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (84%)
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