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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Figurine of a man

Predynastic, early Naqada II
ca. 3650–3450 B.C.
From Egypt
Ivory (elephant)
h. 6.5 x w. 2.2 x d. 0.9 cm (2 9/16 x 7/8 x 3/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1954
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 101
The earliest pieces of Egyptian sculpture represent men and women in formal poses. Figurines were made from mud or unbaked clay, ceramic, or ivory; details such as body hair, clothing, and tattoos were either incised or painted on the clay surface. This bearded man is made from the end portion of a hippo incisor. The features of his face and clothing(?) were incised into the ivory and filled with a black paste like substance. Figurines are very rare in this period of Egyptian art and little is known about their use in the Predynastic cultures that created them.
Purchased from Michel Abemayor, New York, 1954.

Patch, Diana Craig 2011. "The Human Figure." In Dawn of Egyptian Art, edited by Diana Craig Patch. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 132, 134, no. 112.

Allen, Susan J. 2011. "Works in the Exhibition." In Dawn of Egyptian Art, edited by Diana Craig Patch. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 254, no. 112.

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