On Saturday we went to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is so many years since I was last there and I had forgotten how rich and wide ranging is the scope of the museum.
I found many more wonderful beasts from all over the world, but the best of all was the small blue Egyptian hedgehog.
We do love our hedgehogs but I had no idea that the Egyptians revered them as symbols of regeneration.
In the subdued lighting of the gallery the hedgehog has a certain mystery. The museum’s record, brightly lit and with its measuring scale and all the chips so evident is not quite so magical.
Tomb 655 Beni Hasan Egypt
length 6.25 cm
width 3.75 cm
Date 1976 B.C. — 1793 B.C.
After a bit of research I found quite a few other Egyptian Hedgehogs. Most surprising is the real and long eared Middle Eastern hedgehog.
This little chap is from Iran: photo Berkah.13.Kookherd from Wikipedia
A quick internet search shows that some ancient hedgehog figures do have long ears.This little faience amulet is from the Pelizaeus Museum Hildesheim.
from the Global Egyptian Museum
My initial sketch of the short eared Fitzwilliam Hedgehog more as I saw it, in the tomb like low light of the museum display.
And then a quick reduction print:
The Blue Hedgehog
The little blue hedgehog on a windy moonlit evening with swaying palms. Reduction Lino image 6 x4 inches