Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Paddle dolls were once thought to be children’s playthings: their abstract shape simplifies a woman’s body like a toy doll, and often the front is painted to represent a herringbone-patterned dress. On the back, however, the goddess Taweret, who protected pregnant women, is drawn. The image of the goddess, together with the explicit marking of the pubic triangle on the front, now leads scholars to think that these paddle figures magically encouraged fertility in the tomb, thus allowing rebirth into the afterlife.
ca. 2008-1630 B.C.E.
Dynasty 11 to Dynasty 13
8 1/8 x 2 5/16 x 1/4 in. (20.6 x 5.8 x 0.6 cm)
This item is not on view
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Flat wooden female figurine, without legs, with details of anatomy, garment and jewelry painted on both sides in red, black, and white. On the reverse side is a painted figure of Ta-Weret.
Condition: The left arm is missing. There is a large jagged crack in the wood in the middle of the figure. An ancient repair with plaster was made of a large hole in the bottom half of the figure and then painted over. There are two smaller holes, unrepaired, in the center front and back.
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.