Decorative Knife



Bronze straight-backed knife with an angled handle in the form of a cloven hoof. The blade curves upwards to a rounded tip. There are several other New Kingdom knives with handles in the form of the leg of a cow, bull or other herbivore. One example, described as a “scribe's knife’, was found in a Theban tomb, inside the coffin, by the head, along with razors, a whetstone and other cosmetic items, dating to the reign of Thutmose I – early sole reign of Thutmose III (Metropolitan Museum of Art no. 35.3.29). Another example, described as a decorative butcher knife, is in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, no. 20.1799, published in 'Egypt's Golden Age (Boston, 1982) pp. 49-50. This knife was excavated by John Garstang at Abydos and former curator, Dorothy Downes, recorded it as being from grave 499 A'08, although no notes in the archive can be found to demonstrate this and the object does not appear in Steven Snape's corpus of finds from the tombs at Abydos. The knife can be compared with another illustrated in Petrie’s, ‘Tools and Weapons’ (London, 1917) page 25, plate .XXVI [145]. The bronze surface was treated by a conservator in 1977, when green encrustation was removed to reveal worn surfaces and decoration.