Fragment of "Magic Knife"
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Used for magical protection, objects like this one are today commonly called “knives” because of their sickle-like shape. Ancient Egyptians placed knives like this on the stomachs of pregnant women and on newborns to repel demons and disease. In the tomb, such knives provided protection for the deceased.
ca. 1759-after 1630 B.C.E.
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
Archaeological provenance not yet documented; before 1888, probably acquired by Henry Roderick Newman; February 8, 1888, probably purchased in Egypt from Henry Roderick Newman by Charles Edwin Wilbour; 1896, inherited from Charles Edwin Wilbour by Charlotte Beebe Wilbour; 1914, inherited from Charlotte Beebe Wilbour by Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour; 1916, gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour to the Brooklyn Museum.
Fragment of magic wand in deep blue frit. End with lion’s head in relief on both sides; shaft incised on one side with human legs supporting a vase and Bes holding serpents; on other, lion’s legs supporting jackal-head and tail and portion of body of Sebek-crocodile on stand.
Condition: Fragment. Some chips in preserved portion. Glaze has lost luster but preserved lapis-lazuli color.
Fragment of "Magic Knife," ca. 1759-after 1630 B.C.E. Frit, 1 3/8 x 3 9/16 in. (3.5 x 9 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
, 16.580.145. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 16.580.145_PS6.jpg)
overall, 16.580.145_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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