Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
“Paddle dolls” earned their nickname because of their resemblance to modern Ping-Pong paddles. They all show exaggerated depictions of female genitalia. Some are decorated with rudimentary drawings of couples engaged in sexual intercourse, and others have images of birth-gods. The imagery of birth and reproduction suggests that “paddle dolls” enhanced fertility for the living and probably also for the dead.
Wood, mud, flax, faience, pigment
ca. 2008-1630 B.C.E.
late Dynasty 11 to early Dynasty 13
Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
Painted wooden doll with hair of mud beads. The doll is of conventional Middle Kingdom type with square shoulders and rounded base. The decorations on the front are in red and black with a large triangular design painted at the base. On the back is painted a small demon-like creature in bright red. The hair is composed mainly of small tubular mud beads but there are included a few small bright blue faience beads. This type of object is well known although sometimes referred to as dolls and other times as servant figurines of concubines to be placed on the tomb.
Condition: The paint is faded and worn, the edges are chipped.
Paddle Doll, ca. 2008-1630 B.C.E. Wood, mud, flax, faience, pigment, 8 x 2 1/16 in. (20.3 x 5.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.84. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 16.84_front_PS9.jpg)
front, 16.84_front_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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