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Ostrick egg ewer
MFA# 63.1257


Feather brise fan
MFA# 1976.510

A flightless African bird, Struthio camelus, that is raised for its feathers and skin. Ostrich feathers grow up to 2 feet in length and are used for decorations on hats and for dusting brushes. Male ostrich feathers are black while the feathers from female birds are a soft gray or white. Ostrich leather was once popular for handbags. Extraction of the quills produced a pockmark texture that resembled small rosettes. Ostrich egg shells were used for small disk beads and pendants in ancient Egypt.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Struthio camelus; ostrich feather; ostrich leather; ostrich shells; strudsen (Dan.); afrikanische Strauß (Deut.); avestruz (Esp., Port.); autruche (Fr.); struzzo (It.); struisvogel (Ned.); struœ (Pol.); struts (Sven.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Skin has quill holes appearing as tiny rosettes.

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • A.Lucas, J.R.Harris, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries, Edward Arnold Publishers Ltd., London, 4th edition, 1962
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 315
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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