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Inlay Figure of a King in Four Pieces

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

Glass inlays like this were used to decorate shrines or cartonnages. When forming part of the decoration of a cartonnage, they were pressed directly into the outer coat of plaster while it was still wet. This inlay probably formed part of the decorative pattern of a box, a piece of furniture, or an item of funerary equipment. The bright colors not only enhanced the appearance of the object but had symbolic significance as well.

MEDIUM Glass, gilding
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 305-30 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Early Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 9/16 x 2 3/8 in. (14.1 x 6 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 49.61.1-.4
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Inlay Figure of a King in Four Pieces, 305-30 B.C.E. Glass, gilding, 5 9/16 x 2 3/8 in. (14.1 x 6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 49.61.1-.4. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.49.61.1-.4_view4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "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 Upper half of opaque glass inlay figure of king wearing Crown of Lower Egypt and facing right. Made in separate pieces. Crown (.1) of dark purple–blue glass with remains of gilding. Head (.2) in dark red glass, highly polished, imitating jasper. Band between forehead and crown yellow glass. Torso (.3) with right arm raised of same glass as head. Of the necklace only part of the lowest row survives. This is of green and black (?) mosaic glass. Unplaced fragment (.4) in blue glass probably is from another row in the necklace. Condition: Traces of gold leaf on crown. Right hand lost. Necklace incomplete.
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