Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Button or Spindle Whorl

Object Name:
Button or spindle whorl
Date:
3rd–10th century
Geography:
Egypt
Culture:
Coptic
Medium:
Bone; incised and inlaid with paint
Dimensions:
H. 7/8 in. (2.2 cm) Diam. 1 5/16 in. (3.3 cm)
Classification:
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910
Accession Number:
10.130.2529
Not on view
The dot-in-circle motif recalls designs presumed to be of magical significance, most likely an abstract eye to ward off the evil-eye, which serves an apotropaic function. Easily reproduced with a tool and visible in many cultures and times, this symbol may have lost its meaning, and become simply a decorative pattern, or may have one that we have not yet discovered
Chauncey Murch, Luxor, Egypt (until d. 1907); Mrs. Chauncey Murch(1907–10); Helen Miller Gould, New York (1910; gifted to MMA)
Related Objects

Pair of Minbar Doors

Date: ca. 1325–30 Medium: Wood (rosewood and mulberry); carved, inlaid with carved ivory, ebony, and other woods Accession: 91.1.2064 On view in:Gallery 450

Panel from a Cenotaph or Symbolic Coffin with Marquetry Decoration

Date: second half 8th century Medium: Wood (fig); mosaic with bone and four different types of wood Accession: 37.103 On view in:Gallery 451

Spindle Whorl

Date: 9th–10th century Medium: Bone; incised Accession: 38.40.92 On view in:Gallery 453

Spindle Whorl

Date: 9th–10th century Medium: Bone; incised and inlaid with paint Accession: 38.40.57 On view in:Gallery 453

Spindle Whorl

Date: 9th–10th century Medium: Bone; tinted, incised, and inlaid with paint Accession: 38.40.72 On view in:Gallery 453