Statuette of a standing baboon
The animal has been identified as a Hamadryas baboon, Papis Hamadryas, ‘probably a young one because it has not developed the hair about its head and the nose is not full length’ (information courtesy of Mrs. Napier, Natural History Museum, London). It stands with its knees flexed and hands raised palm outwards in a praying posture, probably to greet the rising sun. the tail falls behind in a shallow curve to terminate in a slightly bulbous tip. The muscles at occiput and nape of neck are well marked. The bare skin area of the rump (the ischial callosities present in the natural animal) forms a depression of figure-of-eight shape. The object is presumably an ex voto. A similar baboon but in ivory was found among the debris in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
The right ear is pierced, evidently by a drill after casting, and the gold wire earring which is threaded through is likely to be ancient. The forepart of the right foot is missing and the tail has been fractured and repaired recently. The surface shows a red patination of cuprous oxide interspersed with patches of malachite green, particularly on the abdomen. Short rectangular-section tangs beneath each foot indicate that the figure was once fixed in a separate base.
Purchased by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury from K. J. Hewett in 1956.
Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia in 1973 as part of the original gift.
Title/Description: Statuette of a standing baboon
Born: 1350 c. BC
Measurements: h. 120 mm
Accession Number: 310
Historic Period: Dynasty XVIII (c. 1350 BC), 13th Century BC
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1973
More from the collection
Maharaja Ram Singh II of Kotah (r.1826-66) at the Gangaur festival
Gold, Paper, Silver, Watercolour
Unframed: (h. 459 x w. 664 x d. 1 mm) Framed: (h. 682 x w. 882 x d. 20 mm)