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Right Fist Holding Folded Cloth

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Hands on wooden, anthropoid coffins were usually crossed over the chest to resemble depictions of the god Osiris. They were frequently modeled and attached separately by means of pegs, a hole for which is visible in the middle of the flat hand with rings (3).

The hand originally belonged to the coffin of a woman, while the clenched fist holding a short stave (4) is characteristic of men’s coffins. An unusual and damaged inscription on the fist, running from the knuckles to the wrist, appears to be the name of the deceased. The yellow hue of both hands evokes the Egyptian belief that gods, and thus the deceased associated with them, have golden skin.
MEDIUM Wood, gesso, pigment, resin
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1075–656 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 9/16 x 2 1/16 x 5 7/8 in. (14.2 x 5.3 x 15 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.2041.13E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Right Fist Holding Folded Cloth, ca. 1075–656 B.C.E. Wood, gesso, pigment, resin, 5 9/16 x 2 1/16 x 5 7/8 in. (14.2 x 5.3 x 15 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.2041.13E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.2041.13E_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.2041.13E_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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