late 1800s-early 1900s
Ivory and iron
Overall: 11 x 4 x 4 cm (4 5/16 x 1 9/16 x 1 9/16 in.)
René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.446
The oversized hands with elongated fingers are positioned in an anatomically incorrect manner with the thumbs toward the face.
This ivory figurine most likely served as the finial of a wooden staff or scepter, and owned and used by a high-ranking official or a ritual specialist. The combination of its features is quite unusual. The kneeling attitude is rather common and typically denotes respect. However, the position of the hands is anatomically incorrect with the thumbs toward the face. The idea of the striking hand gesture may refer to mourning.
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