Toy mouse - ROM2018_16218_101


Toy mouse

Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1069 BC
Period: 18th-20th Dynasty, New Kingdom
6.5 × 2.5 × 1.9 cm
Object number: 985X2.6
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

The Ancient Egyptians were very fond of animals and kept dogs and cats as pets, as well as more exotic animals like monkeys.  This charming little mouse appears to be a toy - was it used to amuse a cat? 

There are many pictures from Ancient Egypt that illustrated fables or stories of cats and mice.  Unfortunately, the tales were so well known that the stories were not written down, and we can only look at the images of a cat dressing an elaborate wig worn by a lady mouse, or cats being judged by officious mice, and wonder what the stories were.  This little toy might have been used to act out such stories.

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