Bronze Figurine of “Housewife” Bastet

£ 300.00

A small bronze figurine of the zoomorphic Egyptian goddess Bastet. The figurine displays a feline head with small ears, and holds the aegis of lion-headed Sekhmet in her left at her chest, a round basket hanging from her left elbow. Her robe is detailed with incised decoration, and the composition is finished with a rounded base. The reverse is unworked, yet showcases the fine silhouette of the item. This iconographical representation of Bastet is known as the “Housewife Bastet,” and was popular during the Late and Ptolemaic periods.

Date: 664-30 BC
Period: Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
Provenance: Ex SM, Mayfair London collection 1970-99, thence by descent.
Condition: Fine. One arm and base of figurine missing. Details a little worn. Some earthly encrustations.
Product Code: ES-125
Categories: , Tags: ,

The goddess Bastet was considered to be the daughter of Ra, the sun god, and was originally shown with the features of a lion up until about 1000 BC when she started being portrayed as a cat or human with a cat head. The maternal, protective and hunting characteristics of the cat were the most obvious in Bastet and she is seen as a protector of pregnant women and young children. Particularly women would have worn amulets in the shape of Bastet not only to place themselves under the patronage of the goddess, but also in the hope that the wearer might be endowed with the goddess’ fecundity.

To discover more about amulets in the Ancient Egyptian world, please visit our relevant post: Amulets in Ancient Egypt.

Dimensions W 2.5 x H 5 cm
Region

North Africa

Metal

Bronze

Egyptian Mythology

Bastet

Reference: For a similar item, Christie’s, 4th June 2015, London, lot number 166.

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