Court dwarf

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Detail of Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez showing two court dwarfs
Stele hieroglyph depicting the court dwarf Hed, who died with his master (RMO Rijkmuseum at Leiden abydos, found in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Den, 2850 BCE, 1d)
Court Jester by Diego Velázquez, The Dwarf Sebastian de Morra, c. 1645
Portrait of Józef Boruwłaski (1739–1837), court dwarf
Portrait of Nicolas Ferry (1741-1764), known as Bébé, was the court dwarf of Stanisław Leszczyński.

Early dwarfs, whose histories were recorded, were sometimes employed as Court Dwarfs. They were owned, exploited, and traded amongst people of the court, and delivered as gifts to fellow kings and queens. Ancient Egypt saw dwarfs as being people with significant sacred associations, so owning a dwarf gave a person high social stature.


Court dwarfs enjoyed their specific placement right next to the royal court. The court dwarfs would surround the king during his public appearances and ceremonies. Because they were so small, the king appeared much larger and visually enhanced his powerful position.[1]


  1. ^ "Court Dwarf". Ikengainc. Retrieved 8 February 2013.