Cypriot child's rattle

Contributed by Williamson AGM Birkenhead

Child's rattle in the form of a pig, Cyprus; © Wirral Museums Service

3000 years ago, small children played with rattles just the same as they do today.This little pig shows how children and their toys have not fundamentally changed over thousands of years. It is a rattle in the shape of a pig, the rough ridge of hair on its back showing it to be closer to a boar than contemporary pigs.

This is part of a collection of ancient pottery excavated in Cyprus. It was presented in 1878 to James Bibby, a Liverpool ship-owner, who was cruising the Mediterranean in his yacht 'Helen'.

Refugees escaping from a burning ship at Famagusta suspected that their ship had been purposely wrecked; they murdered the crew and caused panic in the island. The arrival of Mr Bibby's yacht helped to quell the riot as it was believed to be a gunboat and in gratitude he was presented with the collection; it was taken from an archaeologist, Mr Cesnola, who was working for the British Museum.

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Excavated 1878


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