Wooden paddle doll

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Body adornment case
Object Type
Religious or cult object
Middle Kingdom to New Kingdom
Length: 205mm
Number of Elements

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A wooden paddle doll with its head missing. It was purchased by Wellcome at auction in 1919. Such dolls are usually found in Upper Egypt. When complete, they have faces and hair consisting of strings of clay or faience beads. This one is missing its hair. A number have been found dating to the second half of the Eleventh Dynasty from tombs in the neighbourhood of Deir el-Bahri, and are common at Thebes. However, at least two have been found in earlier tombs at Beni Hasan and one at Rifeh. Another was found beneath the Ramesseum at Thebes dating to the Thirteenth Dynasty (Bourriau 1988, 126–127). Unusually, this figure also includes an image of a frog on the lower portion.


Bourriau, J. 1988, Egyptians and Mortals. Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge University Press. Capel, A.K. and G.E. Markoe, eds., 1997. Mistress of the House Mistress of Heaven. Women in Ancient Egypt. Hudson Hills Press. Hayes, W.C. 1953. The Sceptre of Egypt. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Keimer, L. 1948. Remarques sur le Tatouage dans l'Egypte Ancienne. Cairo Morris, E. Paddle 2011. Dolls and Performance in Ancient Egypt. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 47, 71-103.