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Cat

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 15.8 cm (6 1/8 in.); W. 6.3 cm (2 1/2 in.); L. 11 cm (4 5/16 in.) H. (with tang): 16 cm (6 5/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection, Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917
Accession Number:
17.120.146
Not on view
Bastet was a powerful goddess of Lower Egypt, one who was protective and could bring about great prosperity. In zoomorphic form, she was represented as a cat and cats were considered sacred to her. As a cat, she is poised and alert, on guard against external forces.

Cat statuettes were among some of the most common zoomorphic dedications of the Late and Ptolemaic Periods. Small statuettes would have been dedicated as offerings to temples or deposited in catacombs alongside cat mummies, as at the extensive catacombs at Bubastis and Saqqara. Sometimes larger hollow examples held a cat mummy inside.
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher. Bequeathed to the museum by Isaac D. Fletcher, New York, 1917.

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