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Figurine of a Female Dwarf
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Figurine of a Female Dwarf


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Dwarfs played an important role in Egyptian society from Predynastic times. Dwarfism-a genetic condition characterized by unusually short stature and shortened limbs-is frequently represented in Egyptian tomb reliefs and statues. They were believed, because of their unusual appearance, to have supernatural powers and a special relation to the gods. Figurines of dwarfs were used as amulets and have been found in tombs as well as in ritual places. This figurine represents a female dwarf. She has a large forehead, perforations at the eyes to allow for inlay, and incised curved ridges to denote the brow. The upper arms are fat, the chest narrow, the hips wide, and the legs short and twisted. The wide pubic triangle is marked by a pattern of drilled holes. It is likely that this figure was used to secure fertility.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
11/16/1982Treatmentcleaned; examined for condition
Exhibitions
  • Daily Magic in Ancient Egypt. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
Provenance MacGregor Collection [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [lot 712]; Dikran Kelekian, New York and Paris, 1922, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1923, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1923

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Creator
Period
ca. 3500 BCE (Predynastic; Naqada II)
Medium
hippopotamus ivory
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
71.532
Measurements
H: 1 5/16 x W: 11/16 x D: 3/16 in. (3.28 x 1.78 x 0.42 cm)
Geographies
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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