Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Otter statue

Period:
Late Period or Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 45.5 cm (17 15/16 in.); W. 8.3 cm (3 1/4 in.); D. 12.4 cm (4 7/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Lily S. Place, 1923
Accession Number:
23.6.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
During the Late Period and Ptolemaic times otters were represented in bronzes statuettes such as this one, standing, forepaws raised, atop small bronze boxes. The pose of raised paws signifies the otter's adoration of the sun god when he rises in the morning.

In myth otters were attached to the goddess of Lower Egypt Wadjet, whose cult was centered in Buto, in the northern Delta.
Collection of Lily S. Place, Cairo. Donated by Lily Place to the museum, 1923.

Dunham, Dows 1957. Master Bronzes Selected from Museums and Collections in America. Buffalo, no. 54.

Arnold, Dorothea 1995. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 52, no. 4 (Spring), New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 25, no. 23.

Harer, Ben 2008. "The Drexel Collection: From Egypt to the Diaspora." In Servant of Mut: studies in honor of Richard A. Fazzini, about collector Lily S. Place.

Arnold, Dorothea 2010. "Otter." In Falken, Katzen, Krokodile: Tiere im Alten Ägypten: Aus den Sammlungen des Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, und des Ägyptischen Museums Kairo, edited by Dorothea Arnold. Zurich: Rietberg, Museum, pp. 43–44, no. 28.

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