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A Tusk Figurine of a Man

Period:
Predynastic, Late Naqada l– Early Naqada II
Date:
ca. 3900–3500 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Ivory (hippopotamus), organic material
Dimensions:
h. 22.4 cm (8 13/16 in); w. 3 cm (13/16 in); d. 3.2 cm (1 1/4 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
23.2.31
  • Description

    Tusk figures belong to a group of abbreviated figurines made in the Predynastic Period. Such figurines emphasize only facial features and sexuality, while eliminating or schematizing limbs. Tusk figurines exploit a natural form –the tusk of a hippo– creating a male figure that radiates sexuality. This figurine is a superbly finished version of the type with the tusk’s tip carved into ring and a face and shoulders fashioned below. Although the eyes are only indicated by incised outlines with dots for pupils, the nose and mouth are well modeled.

  • Provenance

    Formerly collection of the Rev. Randolph Humphrey Berens (d. 1922). Berens Collection sold at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London [June-July 1923]; purchased at this sale by Howard Carter and sold to the Museum, 1923.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
547232

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