Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Falcon in double crown surmounting a shrine form box for an animal mummy

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 8 cm (3 1/8 in.); W. 3.1 cm (1 1/4 in.); L. 8.6 cm (3 3/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
Accession Number:
26.7.856
Not on view
The falcon god Horus stands with his wings swept back. He wears the double crown of Egypt, a royal crown that symbolizes the union of Lower and Upper Egypt, and highlights Horus’ role as the legitimate ruler of the entire land. The falcon wears the double crown because Horus and the concept of kingship were closely tied, as early as the Predynastic Period. Though small, the piece is very detailed: the distinctive falcon facial markings are clear; the feathers are numerous, varied, and tightly overlapped; an amulet hangs on the bird’s chest and the legs are scaled in a realistic manner.

The falcon stands on a small, shrine-shaped box that would have held an animal mummy. Such falcon mummy boxes, or sarcophagi, would have been offered for deposition in animal necropoleis, not just in relation to the cult of Horus, but also more broadly in association with solar cult.
Previously Lady Meux Collection (?). Acquired by Lord Carnarvon before 1923. Carnarvon Collection, acquired by the Museum from Lady Carnarvon, 1926.

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