Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Crouching child god holding scepter

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 3.8 cm (1 1/2 in.); W. 1.7 cm (11/16 in.); D. 2.3 cm (7/8 in.) H. (with tang): 4.3 cm (1 11/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910
Accession Number:
10.130.1298
Not on view
The figure represents a child god in a squatting position. He holds the crook which alludes to his royal status, and he once wore a crown, which is now broken. The child god is distinguished from adult gods by a range of iconographic clues: his nudity, the finger raised to the mouth (a child-like gesture), and the thick sidelock. Often child gods in this position sit on lotus buds, a flower whose imagery resonates with the associations of rebirth and regeneration attributed to child gods.
Child gods grew in popularity and cult from the Third Intermediate Period onwards, rivaling even the most powerful and ancient gods, especially as temple offerings. The best known is Horus the Child (Harpokrates), who was the son of Isis and Osiris, but many others existed, including Khonsu the Child, Ihy, and Harsiese, among others. Thus it is difficult to assign a precise identity to this statuette without an associated inscription or even a crown.
Formerly in the collection of the Reverend Chauncey Murch (died 1907). Collected between 1883 and 1906 while Murch was a missionary in Egypt. Collection purchased by the Museum from the Murch family with funds provided by Helen Miller Gould, 1910.

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