Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Spindle Whorl or Button

Object Name:
Spindle whorl or button
Date:
3rd–12th century
Geography:
Egypt
Culture:
Coptic
Medium:
Bone; incised and inlaid with paint
Dimensions:
H. 9/16 in. (1.4 cm) Diam. 7/8 in. (2.3 cm)
Classification:
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
23.2.24
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
Rev. Randolph Humphrey Berens ; Sotheby's, London, June–July 1923, to Carter; Howard Carter, London and Egypt (until 1923)
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