Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Whistle

Date:
9th–10th century
Geography:
Excavated in Iran, Nishapur
Medium:
Bone; incised
Dimensions:
W. 1 3/16 in. (3 cm) LengtH. 2 3/16 in. (5.5 cm)
Classification:
Ivories and Bone
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
40.170.136
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
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 serve 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.
1939, excavated at Tepe Madrasa in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds

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