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Aegis of Sakhmet or Bastet

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Dynasty:
Dynasty 21–30
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Faience
Dimensions:
H. 3.7 cm (1 7/16 in); w. 3 cm (1 3/16 in)
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910
Accession Number:
10.130.2055
  • Description

    An aegis is a collarlike necklace (often called a broad-collar) bearing a divine head as symbol of protection and fertility. It is most commonly found on the prow of a sacred boat, or barque, of a god, but small ones could be used with a mummy. Lions or cats were generally the subjects for an aegis, although it is often difficult to identify the species. The lioness was savage and violent in her role as the destructive eye of the sun, while the cat, the lioness' alter ego, was benevolent and friendly, and acted as the eye of the moon.

  • Provenance

    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.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
548215:2

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