Various Small Pieces, Middle Kingdom


Seated Cat: (MMA 1990.59.1) Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a Cat
Early Dynasty 12 (ca. 19901900 BCE)
Egyptian alabaster; copper-lined eyes; crystal eyeballs with pupils painted black from behind, H. 14 cm (5 1/2 in)
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1990

Stalking Cat: (MMA 26.7.902)
Dynasty 12 (ca. 1981-1802 BCE)
Faience, possibly from a tomb in Heliopolis
Ex coll.: Lord Carnarvon
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926

Boy: (MMA 30.8.89)
Official Seal in the Shape of an Infant Boy
Boxwood, Dynasty 12-13 (ca. 1981-1640 BCE)
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
"The name and titles of the 'member of the elite and high official Mentuhotep, justified'
and a framing scroll design are incised on the underside, to be used as a stamp."


Amethyst Turtle with Specklies (MMA 26.7.1359)

(Additional photo and quote from the booklet _Egyptian Art_, published by the Metropolitan Museum, page 20)
"The amethyst amulet (fig 19) depicts the riverine turtle Trionyx triunguis, whose secretive life and water habitat represented concepts in opposition to the daily manifestation and brilliance of the sun god Ra; inlaid bits of turquoise, lapis lazuli, and red jasper imitate the spotted carapace of the species."

(Info from museum website)
"The cat first appears in painting and relief at the end of the Old Kingdom, and this cosmetic jar is the earliest-known three-dimensional representation of the animal in Egyptian art. The sculptor demonstrates a keen understanding of the creature's physical traits, giving the animal the alert, tense look of a hunter rather than the elegant aloofness seen in later representations. The rock-crystal eyes, lined with copper, enhance the impression of readiness."