Ancient Egyptian Clappers, Old Kingdom 2649–2150 BC
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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Egyptian: Pre AD 1000: item # 1018828
Please refer to our stock # GD-482 when inquiring.
Ancient Egyptian Ivory Clappers, Old Kingdom ca. 2649–2150 BC
Here you find two Egyptian clappers, they would have been joined at the end opposite the hands (similar to castanets) and were used as a musical instrument. Clappers were often played together with Sistra (stock# GD-407), Harps and Pipes. The curved shape of the clappers shows that they were made from hippopotamus tusks sawn in two down the centre. Holes in each of the upper portion would allow for a cord to hold the two clappers together however in this example one of the holes is missing. One of these clappers appears to be carved in the shape of a hand which is typical. In ancient Egypt music was an important part of festivals and banquets, often accompanied by singing and dancing. The noise of clapping and banging was also thought to drive away evil forces or dangerous spirits. Evidence can be seen in pre-historic rock drawings of dancing figures and fourth millennium BC. images on pottery in Egypt, seem to show curved-blade clappers held in one hand. These clappers measure 7 inches in length.
Provenance: Collected by Gustave Jéquier (1868-1946).
Ex. Billy Jamieson (1954-2011)
Authentication: Gayle Gibson, Egyptologist: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
For referenced see: G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)