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Figure of Monkey Seated on Ovoid Base

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This blue glazed faience monkey holds a round object, perhaps a ball or a piece of fruit, in its forepaws. In antiquity the animal’s pierced ears had metal earrings indicating that it was a household pet. New Kingdom tomb paintings frequently show pets, including monkeys and cats, wearing earrings.

The Egyptians valued monkeys for more than their humorous antics. They also viewed monkeys as erotic symbols linked to the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Reportedly From: El Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 9/16 in. (5.4 x 2.8 x 4 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 48.181
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Figure of Monkey Seated on Ovoid Base, ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E. Faience, 2 1/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 9/16 in. (5.4 x 2.8 x 4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 48.181. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 48.181_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 48.181_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
    "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 Blue glazed figure of monkey seated on ovoid base. Body in the round, head at right angles to shoulders, ears pierced, hands extended grasping unidentified object supported by one foot and resting on base. Condition: Intact. Glaze slightly worn on front of body.
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