Bound Oryx Dish
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Gallery, 4th Floor
The Egyptians' concept of universal order stressed the difference between the fertile Nile Valley and the barren expanse of desert flanking civilized life. The desert sheltered the hostile forces of chaos, including the god Seth and his malevolent agents, often represented in animal form.
The oryx, a desert antelope, was seen as an incarnation of the evil threatening to destroy Ma'at. Thus the motif of the bound oryx symbolized the Egyptians' persistent need to hold the forces of disorder in check.
4 3/16 x 1 3/4 x 9 in. (10.6 x 4.4 x 22.9 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Bound Oryx Dish, ca.1390-1352 B.C.E. Wood, 4 3/16 x 1 3/4 x 9 in. (10.6 x 4.4 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 49.54. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 49.54_view2_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
overall, bowl exterior, 49.54_view2_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
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Wooden toilet dish in the form of a bound oryx. Feet folded under body bound with four thongs. Head in the round with horns connected at their ends to body. Tail curved against body. One side of body hollowed in roughly oval shape to serve as container.
Condition: Slight restoration in gesso near feet. One section of horn restored. Horns had warped slightly.
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