Diameter: 14.800 cm
Gift of the
Ancient Egypt and Sudan
Wooden mallet used in all types of craft activities
The wooden mallet combined the functions of the modern mallet and hammer. Its conical head and short shaft are immediately recognizable, and comparable to those in use today. Metal hammers were not used in ancient Egypt, perhaps because bronze was too soft to make an effective hammerhead.
Mallets were used by most types of craftsmen. They were vital for hammering in dowels and other fixings, and were used for a range of crafts, from boat building to furniture making. They were also used in conjunction with chisels to produce the fine raised and sunk relief scenes and inscriptions in tombs and temples. The same technique was employed by the makers of statues of stone and wood, though the finest details were produced with a hard stone rather than a mallet.
Some types of metal vessel were produced using a mallet to beat the bronze into the desired shape over a rod anvil, producing a finished product with a characteristic dimpled finish. Chisels and mallets or hammerstones were also employed in the technique of chasing, incising the decoration in the surface of the metal. This was used with great effect on metal vessels and items of jewellery.