Fertility Statuette of a Woman
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Scholars once thought that nude female figurines of this type—with incomplete legs, jewelry, often an elaborate hairdo, and sometimes tattoos—served as symbolic concubines for men in the afterlife. We now know, however, that they functioned as fertility figurines for both men and women. Most were dedicated in shrines of Hathor and other goddesses by those hoping to have a child.
ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E.
XII Dynasty-XVII Dynasty
Middle Kingdom-Second Intermediate Period
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Fertility Statuette of a Woman, ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E. Limestone, painted, 4 5/8 x 1 7/8 in. (11.8 x 4.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 48.25. Creative Commons-BY
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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Limestone statuette of concubine. Body nude with hands held at sides. Figure ends at knees. On front half of head a wig painted black with conventional square incisions. Rear half of head shaved and painted with dot pattern except for three braids which hang down on to body. Wig is undercut above shoulders. Entire body may have been glazed as there are remains of pale blue on base. Faint traces of armlets and band above hips.
Condition: Intact. Surface dirty.
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