One of the treasures in the Museum’s collection of Egyptian art is William, a hippopotamus sculpture (ca. 1981–1885 B.C., Dynasty 12) crafted of faience, a ceramic material made of ground quartz, and decorated with drawings of the lotus flowers found along the Nile. This tee features a print of William with a mouth that opens wide in a typical hippo yawn.
Available in sizes 2T, 3T, and 4T. Cotton. Printed in the USA. Machine washable.
- Available in sizes 2T, 3T, and 4T
- Printed in the USA
- Machine washable
Art HistoryThe Museum's hippopotamus sculpture is based on an original Egyptian faience sculpture dating to Dynasty 12, 1981–1885 B.C. To the earliest Egyptians the herds of hippopotamuses that inhabited the swamps along the edges of the Nile River presented a constant danger. To provide physical protection, and to ward off their supernatural powers, these wild animals were propitiated with offerings or rendered harmless by charms. The hippopotamuses themselves also served as models for small amulets that were placed in graves to empower the deceased against monsters in the next world. Most of the figures were made of blue-green faience with marsh plants outlined in black on their sides to suggest a natural setting. The original figure of a dozing hippopotamus is surrounded by four symmetrically arranged lotus blossoms. Four circular designs meant to suggest flowers are arranged on the hippo's body. On each side of the jaw are two unidentified, curious U- like forms.