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Hair Curler in the Form of a Woman

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Hair Care

The ancient Egyptians took great care in grooming their hair as well as their wigs.

Egyptian men and women shaved their body hair and cut the hair on their heads very short or shaved it completely as a precaution against lice. On ceremonial occasions such as festivals or banquets, men and women wore wigs fashioned from human hair that had been pleated or twirled into locks using small curlers. A cream containing beeswax was rubbed onto the wigs so they would hold their form. Facial and pubic hair was removed with tweezers and razors.
CULTURE Egyptian
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539–1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 7/8 x 2 5/16 in. (2.2 x 5.9 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A small bronze tweezer razor in the form of a swimming Nubian female. She wears a short wig, an armlet, a wide necklace, a short decorated kilt and chest sashes. Her outstretched arms form the upper part of the tweezer. They are attached to the lower half of the tweezer with a metal pivot pin in front of her elbows. Below her feet an area of metal sharp on its edge, forms the razor. Condition: Good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Egyptian. Hair Curler in the Form of a Woman, ca. 1539–1292 B.C.E. Bronze, 7/8 x 2 5/16 in. (2.2 x 5.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.654E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.654E_erg456.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.37.654E_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
    "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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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