Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Harpokrates in a double crown

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 15.2 cm (6 in.); W. 4 cm (1 9/16 in.); D. 3.8 cm (1 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number:
04.2.416
Not on view
The figure represents a child god in a striding/standing position, wearing the double crown with a streamer on the back of the neck. 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. He wore an amulet on his chest, an attribute common to child gods but not adult gods. The amulet is no longer visible, but the cord of the necklace is skewed slightly, so that originally the amulet would not be blocked from view by the right hand – a clever but uncommon adjustment.
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.
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.

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