Magic Wand - Ivory (MMA 30.8.218)
Dynasty 12-13, length 13 3/8 inches
I have another view of this wand, along with info and better view of the hippo.
"The ivory wand is incised with a series of fiercely beneficient figures wielding knives and bears an inscription that proclaims their role: 'protection by day and protection by night'."|
(From the booklet _Egyptian Art_, published by the Metropolitan Museum, page 20)
Appliqué with Bes flanked by figures of Taweret
Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1550-1350 B.C.E.
Gift of Mrs. Frederick Thompson, 1915
Photos © Joan Lansberry, May 2008
From info card:
"These instruments of defensive magic were used to protect mother and child by marking off barriers around a bed or by symbolically cutting off the heads of household dangers, such as snakes and scorpions. The images of animals and demons to ward of illness, accident, and evil forces include Taweret and Bes, protectors of pregnant women and children."
I found a linear detail of this wand in Wilkinson's _Reading Egyptian Art_:
There are quite a few of these wands made from hippotamus tusks, and all are from the Middle Kingdom.
You can see how these wands have the rounded shape that they do,
using the ivory from these strong teeth which the hippo uses for fighting.
(This skull at Disney World's Animal Kingdom), Photo © Joan Lansberry, August 2006