Exceptional and Rare Goddess Bastet Amulet

£ 3,000.00

An extremely fine Egyptian glazed multicoloured faience amulet, modelled in the shape of Bastet, the Egyp­tian goddess of fertility, displayed in her sacred cat form. The deity is shown with her ten kittens, as proof of her fecundity. One of her kittens sits on top of her head, another lies on her back, six sit sup­porting her outstretched forelegs on their heads, while two more sit balanced on the forelegs. The figure has been rendered in turquoise faience with details added in red and speckles on her coat rendered in dark pigment. The reverse features a loop for attachment. In Ancient Egypt, amulets were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife.

Date: Circa 1069-656
Period: Third intermediate Period
Provenance: From the Barclay family collection, 1930-40s and thence by descent.
Condition: Extremely fine and rare example, with some signs of ageing on the surface. Minor chip to one of the cat’s ear.

SOLD

Product Code: ES-111
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. Amulets in the shape of Bastet would have been worn particularly by women 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 H 5 cm
Egyptian Mythology

Bastet

Faience

Black Faience, Red Faience, Turquoise Faience

Region

North Africa

Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item EA26239 .

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