Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Figure of a Female Dwarf

Middle Kingdom
Dynasty 12–13
ca. 1981–1640 B.C.
From Egypt
H. 6.4 cm (2 1/2 in.); W. 3.5 cm (1 3/8 in.); D. 2.4 cm (15/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1972
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 113
Dwarves and pygmies were highly respected in ancient Egypt. Apparently their short stature gave raise to the belief that they possessed beneficial magic powers. They also served as well-liked jesters at the royal court. This figure of a female dwarf of light blue faience is represented with a long bead necklace, armlets and an elaborate hairdo. An ancient magical spell prescribes that a dwarf figure should be placed on the body of a woman giving birth.
Purchased from Michel Abemayor, New York, 1972.

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