Clappers are among the earliest percussion instruments found in ancient Egypt. This set, shaped like a pair of hands and forearms, belongs to a type that was most common in the Middle Kingdom. Clappers were frequently used in musical performances held during banquets and religious rituals. The instruments marked rhythm, like castanets, and substituted for or complemented hand clapping.
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.
Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 247-248.
Stünkel, Isabel 2015. "Pair of Clappers." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 105, no. 46.