Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The standing hippopotamus represented Seth, the brother of Osiris who murdered him and then claimed his throne. It was thus a symbol of chaos. Egyptians controlled negative forces in the tomb by including a hippopotamus with the legs purposely broken. The lotus flowers drawn on its flanks reflect the animal as it would be seen standing in the Nile among the natural vegetation.
ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E.
XII Dynasty to XVII Dynasty
Middle Kingdom to Second Intermediate Period
4 5/16 × 2 15/16 × 7 3/16 in., 2 lb. (11 × 7.5 × 18.3 cm, 0.91kg) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
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Hippopotamus, ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E. Faience, 4 5/16 × 2 15/16 × 7 3/16 in., 2 lb. (11 × 7.5 × 18.3 cm, 0.91kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.226.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.226.2_PS2.jpg)
overall, 86.226.2_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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Faience statuette of standing hippopotamus. Head frontal and slightly lowered, feet parallel, tail in high relief. Glazed blue, now largely turned green. Decorations on manganese of lotus flowers and buds arranged in conventional pattern. Rosette (lotus in top view) on each buttock. Lotus leaf on each side of head.
Glaze on left side of body badly worn. Right ear chipped. Chips on jaw (each side). Minor chips on body.
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