Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Shrew

Period:
Ptolemaic Period
Date:
304 B.C.–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 3 cm (1 3/16 in.); W. 2.5 cm (1 in.); L. 9.6 cm (3 3/4 in.) H. (with tang): 3.9 cm (1 9/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number:
04.2.465
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
"The voracious" was the ancient Egyptians'name for the shrew, an epithet that aptly describes the feeding habits of this tiny animal. In ancient Egyptian mythology the shrew was closely associated with the ichneumon. The shrew represented the blind aspect of a solar deity whose complement, endowed with keen eyesight, was understood to be the ichneumon.
Collection of Judge Elbert E. Farman, formed when he was U.S. consul general in Egypt 1876–84. Donated to the museum by Darius Ogden Mills, New York, in 1904.

Arnold, Dorothea 1995. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 52, no. 4 (Spring), New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 39, no. 43.

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