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Paddle Doll

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor

So-called paddle dolls are flat, schematic representations of naked, legless female figures on which jewelry, belts, and other details have been painted or drawn. Made as fertility figures, they were dedicated to goddesses by women or couples hoping to bear children. Some are adorned with strings of mud pellets, apparently imitating hair. Many also have painted images—possibly representing tattoos—of deities such as Bes and Taweret or of human couples in sexual embrace.

MEDIUM Wood, painted
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2081-1700 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XI Dynasty-XIII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 8 3/4 x 2 1/2 x 1/4 in. (22.3 x 6.3 x 0.7 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.101E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Paddle Doll, ca. 2081-1700 B.C.E. Wood, painted, 8 3/4 x 2 1/2 x 1/4 in. (22.3 x 6.3 x 0.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.101E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE group, CUR.37.100E_37.101E_37.102E_GRPB_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
    "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 Flat wooden female figurine with details of anatomy, garment and jewelry painted in red and black on both sides. The reverse side bears painted representations of Ta-weret, a dog or jackal, and a couple engaged in erotic act. Probably a servant figurine. Condition: Part of the left arm was chipped off, and there is bad chipping all around the edges of the figure. The bottom left edge is missing.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (82%)
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