Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The hollow body of this hedgehog figure contains tiny pellets that rattled when it was shaken. The rattles were used to ward off harmful forces such as snakes, scorpions, or malevolent spirits. When attacked, a hedgehog rolls into a ball, presenting a mass of pointed spines to the predator. To the Egyptians, this behavior—imitated in this figure—made the hedgehog an ideal protective symbol.
ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E.
Dynasty 12 to early Dynasty 13
3 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/8 in. (7.6 x 4.4 x 3.5 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Hedgehog Rattle, ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E. Faience, 3 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/8 in. (7.6 x 4.4 x 3.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 59.186. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.59.186_erg2.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 10/27/2008
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Blue-green faience rattle in the form of a hedgehog. Hollow with pellets. Spikes and details of body indicated by manganese drawing; head in raised relief on underside of object. Flat base, oval upper side.
Condition: Intact. Circular piece of faience at back of body was removed and replaced before firing presumably to hollow out the body.
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