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Princess Sobeknakht Suckling a Prince

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Beginning in the Middle Kingdom, craftsmen demonstrated great skill in designing and manufacturing metal statuary. This copper statuette, representing a woman suckling a male child, is considered among the finest of these sculptures. The inscription on the base identifies the subject as the "hereditary noblewoman" Sobeknakht; her fillet and uraeus-cobra show that she is a princess. The figure may have been commissioned to celebrate the birth of a prince, to signal a reigning king's devotion to his mother, or to reflect Sobeknakht's wish for divine help in conceiving a child who would become Egypt's king.

MEDIUM Copper alloy
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1700-after 1630 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XIII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom-Second Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 x 2 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. (10.2 x 7 x 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 43.137
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Princess Sobeknakht Suckling a Prince, ca. 1700-after 1630 B.C.E. Copper alloy, 4 x 2 3/4 x 3 1/4 in. (10.2 x 7 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 43.137. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 43.137_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "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 Copper figurine of seated woman suckling child. The woman clad in a short garment sits on the ground with the left knee raised and the right leg folded under her with foot protruding from in back of the left ankle. She holds a nude child to the right breast. The base consists of a thin, bronze placque, on the front of which is scratched an inscription, which seems to read: AbC. T’t s’bk-nht m 3 ‘t-h2w “the Princess Sebek-nakht, the justified.” Condition: Tip of nose slightly rubbed.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (92%)
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