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Ball Bead

A work made of faience.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of faience.


Middle Kingdom–New Kingdom (about 2055–1069 BCE)



About this artwork

Ancient Egyptians presented ball beads as votive gifts to the goddess Hathor, who was associated with beauty. In other contexts, these spherical beads could be strung on necklaces singly or in sets, or worn as hair ornaments. The hollow beads are made from Egyptian faience, a ceramic composed of quartz, an alkali, lime, and a colorant. In this example, painted black stripes accentuate the vibrant blue hue that was created by adding ground copper to the faience.


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Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Ball Bead


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.

Made 2055 BCE–1069 BCE




3.2 × 3.1 × 3 cm (1 5/16 × 1 1/4 × 1 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Henry H. Getty and Charles L. Hutchinson

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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