Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Harpokrates in double crown

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 12.4 cm (4 7/8 in.); W. 3.6 cm (1 7/16 in.); D. 6.3 cm (2 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of James Douglas, 1890
Accession Number:
90.6.65
Not on view
The figure represents a child god in a striding/standing position, wearing the double crown, which alludes to his royal status. 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 sidelock on the right side of his head. The faint incised outline of a string is visible at his neck, intended for the suspension of an amulet, an attribute common to child gods but not adult 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. Without an inscription, it can be very difficult to securely distinguish and identify particular child gods, but here the double crown identifies the god as Harpokrates (Horus the Child), who was the son of Osiris and Isis.
This royal crown symbolizes the union of Lower and Upper Egypt, and highlights Horus’ role as the legitimate ruler of the entire land and his direct association with the king. The red crown on this statuette is incredibly detailed but unusual, as it is completely covered in incised diamond shapes with dots at their centers; the pattern is similar but not identical to the more common blue or red crowns with incised circles.
Collection of Dr. James Douglas, Quebec City. This piece was probably acquired between 1851–1865, when he is known to have traveled and collected in Egypt. Donated to the Museum by his son James S. Douglas, 1890.

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