Figure of a Lion
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Almost all of the small figures in this case originally were placed in temples.
We do not know the significance of many of these early objects. The lion probably embodied divine or royal power, and frogs may have provided protection during childbirth, as in later times.
The figure of a squatting little boy in this case may have been offered to a god as the expression of a wish to bear children. The destructive powers of animals such as pigs, hippos, and scorpions could apparently be neutralized and even made useful through their images, as in the hippo-headed top of a mace (war club).
The ivory lioness was part of a common board game, of which partial sets have survived. The opposing side’s pieces were carved ivory figures of crouching lions or dogs.
ca. 3100-2800 B.C.E.
I Dynasty (probably)
Late Naqada III Period to early Dynastic Period
2 9/16 x 2 1/4 x 5 1/8 in. (6.5 x 5.7 x 13 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Figure of a Lion, ca. 3100-2800 B.C.E. Terracotta, 2 9/16 x 2 1/4 x 5 1/8 in. (6.5 x 5.7 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 58.128.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.35.1273_58.128.1_erg3.jpg)
"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.
Light brown terracotta statuette of a lion with a minimum of detail in modeling; couchant position with four legs pointing forward. Eyes barely indicated; thick mane cross-hatched with incised lines. Tail curved over right haunch. Testicles indicated.
Condition: Perfect, except for small scratches on body.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.