Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Furniture element: kneeling male figure

Period:
Middle Bronze Age–Old Assyrian Trading Colony
Date:
ca. 18th century B.C.
Geography:
Anatolia, probably from Acemhöyük
Culture:
Old Assyrian Trading Colony
Medium:
Ivory, gold leaf
Dimensions:
2.36 x 1.04 x 1.14 in. (5.99 x 2.64 x 2.9 cm)
Classification:
Ivory/Bone-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. George D. Pratt, in memory of George D. Pratt, 1937
Accession Number:
37.143.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 406
This fragment belongs to a group of carved ivories, mostly furniture elements, probably found at the site of a palace at Acemhöyük in central Anatolia. Carved in the round, the piece shows a kneeling figure who is missing his head. He wears a long kilt belted at the waist, with traces of gilding remaining on the belt. His bare chest and arms are softly modeled, with a navel defined just above the belt. His feet are visible emerging from his kilt when seen from the back and sides. The figure has attachment holes drilled in its flat base, and likely adorned a piece of furniture. The pink staining of this piece indicates that iron oxides are present on the surface, although it is not known whether this was a deliberate decorative treatment, or a result of contact with the soil in which this and other pieces of carved ivory from Acemhöyük were buried.
Acquired by the Museum in 1937, gift of Mrs. George D. Pratt, in memory of George D. Pratt.

“Egyptian Style in the Eastern Mediterranean.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, March 2, 1938–March 27, 1938.

"Origin and Influence, Cultural Contacts: Egypt, the Ancient Near East, and the Classical World." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, December 18, 1970–April 23, 1971.

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Selections from the Collection of the Ancient Near East Department,” MOA Museum of Art, Atami, Japan, The Aiche Prefectural Art Gallery, Nagoya, Japan, The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan, 1983.

"Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 17, 2008–March 15, 2009.

Dimand, Maurice S. 1938. "The Museum's Collection of Syrian Ivories and the Ivories from Megiddo." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 33, pp. 42-44, fig. 3.

Decamps de Mertzenfeld, Christiane. 1954. Inventaire Commenté des Ivoires Phéniciens. Paris: E. De Boccard, p. 163, pl. CXXV, fig. 1086.

Harper, Prudence O. 1969. "Dating a Group of Ivories from Anatolia." The Connoisseur 172, p. 162, fig. 12.

Barnett, Richard D. 1982. "Ancient Ivories in the Middle East and Adjacent Countries." Qedem 14, pl. 26f [Mislabeled as 37.14.32].

Imai, Ayako. 1983. “Acemhöyük Ivories.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Selections from the Collection of the Ancient Near East Department, exh. cat. Tokyo: Chunichi Shimbun, no. 107.

Aruz, Joan. 2008. “Kneeling Figure.” In Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C., exh. cat. edited by Joan Aruz, Kim Benzel, and Jean M. Evans. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 51, pp. 89-90.

Simpson, Elizabeth. 2013. “An Early Anatolian Ivory Chair: The Pratt Ivories in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” In Amilla: The Quest for Excellence, Studies Presented to Günter Kopcke in Celebration of his 75th Birthday, edited by Robert B. Koehl. Philadelphia: INSTAP Academic Press, pp. 221-261.
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