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Figure of Monkey Seated on Ovoid Base

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Throughout Egyptian history, monkeys were enjoyed for their playful, whimsical behavior. This blue faience example holds a ball or piece of fruit. In antiquity, it wore a metal earring indicating that it represented a household pet. Because they had to be imported over great distances at considerable expense, the possession of monkeys indicated the owner’s wealth and social status.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Reportedly From: Tell el-Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/8 × 1 1/8 × 1 9/16 in. (5.4 × 2.8 × 4 cm) mount: 2 1/4 × 1 3/4 × 1 3/8 in. (5.7 × 4.4 × 3.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Blue glazed figure of monkey seated on ovoid base. Body in the round, head at right angles to shoulders, ears pierced, hands extended grasping unidentified object supported by one foot and resting on base. Condition: Intact. Glaze slightly worn on front of body.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Figure of Monkey Seated on Ovoid Base, ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E. Faience, 2 1/8 × 1 1/8 × 1 9/16 in. (5.4 × 2.8 × 4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 48.181. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 48.181_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 48.181_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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