From Egypt; Possibly from Memphite Region, Heliopolis (Iunu; On)
L. 4.8 cm (1 7/8 in.); W. 2.7 cm (1 1/16 in.); H. 3.6 cm (1 7/16 in.)
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 111
Already in the Early Dynastic Period, Egyptians deposited faience figurines of wild animals in temple precincts. These figurines were reintroduced in the Twelfth Dynasty, but as a component of burial equipment and with new species added to the repertoire. The controlled representation of desert animals may have assured the Egyptians of eternal safety, though they also likely had symbolic meanings.
Formerly Carnarvon Collection (purchased by him before 1923 from Maurice Nahman, Cairo).Purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Almina, Countess of Carnarvon, 1926.
Phillips, Dorothy W. 1942. Ancient Egyptian Animals, Picture Books (Metropolitan Museum of Art), New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pl. 21.
Patch, Diana Craig 2015. "Three Jerboas Grooming Their Tails." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 208–10, no. 145.
Yamamoto, Kei 2015. "Comprehending Life: Community, Environment, and the Supernatural." 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. 190.