Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Game piece in the shape of a baboon

Ptolemaic Period
332–30 B.C.
From Egypt
H. 3.4 cm (1 5/16 in.); W. 1.8 cm (11/16 in.); D. 1.6 cm (5/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Fletcher Fund and The Guide Foundation Inc. Gift, 1966
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
Animal ankle joints, anatomically termed astragals, were used as gaming pieces. The knucklebone itself might be carved, or astragal-shaped gaming pieces might be carved from other sources or materials. All were termed astragals, which were used like dice or jacks.
This baboon has been compactly carved, seated and with its head turned, to serve as an astragal.
Ex collection Albert Gallatin, purchased from Dikran Kelekian Estate, March 1952. Collection purchased from Mr. Gallatin, 1966.

Fischer, Henry G. 1967. "The Gallatin Egyptian Collection." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 25, no. 7 (March), p. 262, fig. 13.

Arnold, Dorothea 1995. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 52, no. 4 (Spring), New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 60, no. 82.

Arnold, Dorothea 2010. "Spielfiguren in Paviangestalt." In Falken, Katzen, Krokodile: Tiere im Alten Ägypten: Aus den Sammlungen des Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, und des Ägyptischen Museums Kairo, edited by Dorothea Arnold. Zurich: Museum Rietberg, pp. 96–97, no. 109.

Art du Jeu, Jeu dans l'Art. 2012. Paris, 96 (cat. 72).

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