late 10th–12th century
Made in Egypt
Bone, carved; painted with black organic material
6 1/8 x 2 7/16 in. (15.6 x 6.2 cm)
Benaki Museum, Athens (10738)
Not on view
During both the Byzantine and the Islamic periods, female images signified abundance, fertility, intellectual pursuits, deities, and cities. Women also appear as court entertainers such as dancers, musicians, and courtesans.
Figurines with large almond-shaped eyes and decoration in black with S shapes, dots, hearts, and circular motifs are characteristic of Fatimid Egypt. They may have been associated with celebrations.