Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Ptolemaic Period
304 B.C.–30 B.C.
From Egypt
Cupreous metal
H. 3 cm (1 3/16 in.); W. 2.5 cm (1 in.); L. 9.6 cm (3 3/4 in.) H. (with tang): 3.9 cm (1 9/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
"The voracious" was the ancient Egyptians'name for the shrew, an epithet that aptly describes the feeding habits of this tiny animal. In ancient Egyptian mythology the shrew was closely associated with the ichneumon. The shrew represented the blind aspect of a solar deity whose complement, endowed with keen eyesight, was understood to be the ichneumon.
Collection of Judge Elbert E. Farman, formed when he was U.S. consul general in Egypt 1876–84. Donated to the museum by Darius Ogden Mills, New York, in 1904.

Arnold, Dorothea 1995. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 52, no. 4 (Spring), New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 39, no. 43.

Related Objects

Statue of a goddess, probably Nehemetaui or Nebethetepet

Date: 550–300 B.C. Medium: cupreous metal Accession: 26.7.845 On view in:Gallery 134

Statuette of Amun

Date: ca. 945–712 B.C. Medium: Gold Accession: 26.7.1412 On view in:Gallery 125

Cat Statuette intended to contain a mummified cat

Date: 332–30 B.C. Medium: Leaded bronze Accession: 56.16.1 On view in:Gallery 134

Ritual Figure

Date: 380–246 B.C. Medium: Wood, formerly clad with lead sheet Accession: 2003.154 On view in:Gallery 128

Bes-image of the god Hor-Asha-Khet

Date: 4th–2nd century B.C. Medium: Bronze; gold, electrum, auriferous-silver, copper and copper-alloy inlays Accession: 29.2.3 On view in:Gallery 134