Wooden clapper

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Music case
Object Type
Implements and utensils, Musical intruments, Instrument, Clapper
Graeco-Roman Period
Length: 115mm | Width: 20mm | Depth: 33mm
Number of Elements

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A wooden clapper of the style known from Roman Egypt, which is carved in three pieces. The two rectangular plaques are fastened to the central handle by means of a extant fibre cord. Sound would be produced by shaking the handle back and forth, making the outer boards strike the inner board. The Egypt Centre example is unusual in that it has a much shorter handle than most examples, perhaps indicative of a child’s item, or simply a different style. As the provenience for this object is unknown, it is unfortunately impossible to comment on possible regional differences. Examples from Karanis (Kelsey Museum, Michigan, 0000.00.3531-3) tend to feature incised circles on a much longer handle with two diagonal crosses on the outer boards. The example in the Egypt Centre is much simpler, with a short handle and a single incised cross on the outer boards, a feature shared by another clapper found in the British Museum (1914, 0902.2), excavated by the Egypt Exploration Fund at Antinopolis. Despite this, the reasons behind the unusual handle design of EC162 remains mysterious.


Hickmann. H. 1951. La cliquette. Un instrument de percussion egyptien de l'epoque copte, Bulletin de la Société d'Archéologie Copte 13, 1–12.

Other Identity
10 (circular label with blue border) | 66 (circular label with blue border)
Previous Owner
Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 01 Feb 2021

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