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Plaque Depicting a Quail Chick

A work made of limestone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of limestone.


Ptolemaic Period (332–30 BCE)



About this artwork

Remarkable for its lifelike detail, this plaque depicts a fledgling quail, better known to literate Egyptians as the hieroglyph for the sound w. Plaques like this one that show animals, deities, and royalty were a relatively late addition to the ancient Egyptian artistic repertoire, first appearing around 664 BCE. Their function remains a mystery—they may have been used as sculptors’ models in the training of artists, dedicated in temples as gifts to the gods, or perhaps both.


On View, Gallery 50


Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Plaque Depicting a Quail Chick


Egypt (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

332 BCE–30 BCE




12 × 13.2 × 1.3 cm (4 3/4 × 5 1/4 × 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Museum Purchase Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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