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Bound Oryx Dish

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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.

MEDIUM Wood
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca.1390-1352 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 4 3/16 x 1 3/4 x 9 in. (10.6 x 4.4 x 22.9 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 49.54
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION 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
    IMAGE overall, bowl exterior, 49.54_view2_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
    "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 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.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (86%)
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    Bound Oryx Dish

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