This is an apotropaic rod – it was used to ward off harmful spirits. It comes in four segments, which might be related to the “birthing bricks” used to protect women during childbirth. And it’s covered in protective motifs, particularly protective animals.

This is a Middle Kingdom object but the animals on the top remind me a lot of some Early Dynastic objects that are also in the Met. I don’t know if they had the same meaning or not – the earlier frog & crocodile were donated to temples, these are magic in a domestic setting.

Apotropaic Rod. Provenance unknown. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret III, c. 1878-1640 BCE. Acc. No.: Met Museum 26.7.1275

It’s not known where this rod was found, but it’s now in the Met Museum (acc. no.: 26.7.1275).

See it on my photo site:
Frog & Crocodile Early Dynastic figurines:
Lion Early Dynastic figurines:

I’ve written about frogs on the blog before:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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