Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
The Egyptians had a special class of deities, including Bes, Aha, and Hayet, that protected mothers and very young children. This piece shows one of these deities nursing an infant god. In antiquity metal rings were inserted into the holes at the top of the headdress and through the pierced ears. When shaken like a rattle, the piece produced a rustling sound intended to soothe a crying baby.
ca. 945-718 B.C.E.
Third Intermediate Period
5 15/16 x 2 1/2 x 15/16 in. (15.1 x 6.4 x 2.4 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Light green faience plaque of Bes figure, standing, wears high five feathered headdress. Seated baboons on each shoulder, baboon in profile between knees. In right hand is an oval object, in left, a stylized, elongated crocodile (?). Back: Wears a lion’s tail. At headdress is a bound gazelle in relief. Bes stands ion a papyrus capital. The entire figure decorated with brown spots; headdress decorated with five vertical stripes. Eyes and mouth suggest previous inlays.
Condition: Base partly missing. Tip of object held in left hand is broken. Glaze is somewhat worn on obverse.
Protective God, ca. 945-718 B.C.E. Faience, 5 15/16 x 2 1/2 x 15/16 in. (15.1 x 6.4 x 2.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 58.171. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.58.171_wwg8.jpg)
installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.58.171_wwg8.jpg
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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