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Plaque of Bes figure

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, 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.

MEDIUM Faience, glazed
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 945-718 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXII Dynasty
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 15/16 x 2 1/2 x 15/16 in. (15.1 x 6.4 x 2.4 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 58.171
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Plaque of Bes figure, ca. 945-718 B.C.E. Faience, glazed, 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
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.58.171_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "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 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.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (82%)
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