AN EGYPTIAN BRONZE CAT, CIRCA 1070 – 343 B.C.

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Culture: Egyptian
Date: 1070 – 343 B.C. (Third Intermediate Period to Late Period, Dynasty XXI – XXX).
Medium: Bronze
Condition: Intact, standing on its own base..
Provenance: Ex- Collection of a midwestern University professor; art market U.S. or Europe circa 1969 – early 1970s; Christie's New York, December 2012.
Dimensions: H. 3 1/8 in. (8 cm.)
Ref No. EG1151

 

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Description

Seated with its forepaws together, its long tail curving forward around its right side, with the tip extending beyond the paws, the small head with an angular jawline, the large ears erect, a hieroglyphic inscription along the edge of the hm-shaped integral plinth, from right to left, then center, reading: “…[Bastet?] giver of life, Maa-kheru-Hor…Iun(yt), Sopdet, Lady of…may he live forever!”

The shape of the plinth is based on the hieroglyph hm for “majesty.” For a haematite cat amulet on a similar plinth see no. 449, p. 532 in Berman, Catalogue of Egyptian Art in the Cleveland Museum of Art. See also the standing Bastet on a similar plinth, no. 70, p. 104 in Malek, The Cat in Ancient Egypt.