Recent Acquisition: Egyptian Comb

Egyptian Comb, ca. 9th century. Wood. Museum purchase with funds from the Elisabeth P. Myers Art Acquisition Endowment. Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2017.64

This Egyptian comb from the ninth century is a recent addition to our ancient collection. Carved from wood, with thick teeth on one side and finer teeth on the other, it has an ornamental design that was cut into the central panels. On one side, the design seems anthropomorphic: the viewer can glimpse eyes and a nose (which make the thick teeth seem like actual teeth and the fine teeth like hair). The comb itself is recognizable as a tool used in daily life, and the whimsical feeling that comes from the discovery of a hidden face is also familiar. Objects like this help us bridge large gaps in time and engage with life in the ancient world.

Juliet Istrabadi
Curator of Ancient Art

IU Eskenazi Museum of Art website

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