Extremely fine Egyptian Bronze Statuette of Harpocrates


A finely rendered Egyptian solid bronze statuette of the god Harpocrates, the personification of Horus the Child, identifiable here from his nudity and side-lock, which was a common hairstyle for young Egyptian boys. The deity is depicted sitting with his hands held palms down, resting beside his legs, feet secured on a plinth, and wearing a headpiece with rearing uraeus to the front. Facial and anatomical features have been carefully crafted. Bronze statuettes of this type usually present the deity portrayed with his index finger held to the lips or the chin, however here the deity is shown in a more unusual stance.

Date: Circa 760 - 30 BC
Period: Late Period-Ptolemaic Period
Provenance: From an early 20th century Home Counties collection.
Condition: Well-preserved example, surface presents some green patination. The piece has been mounted on a custom-made stand.


SKU: CS-96 Category: Tags: ,

In Ancient Egyptian culture and mythology Harpocrates, also knowns as Harpa-Khruti (Horus the Child), was the son of the goddess Isis and her husband Osiris. The deity was often depicted as a small boy, with a side-lock of youth and the index finger held to the lips or the chin, a typical Egyptian gesture symbolising childhood and also the Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for “child”. However, the gesture is also linked to the action of eating porridge, which was one of the traditional children’s food in Ancient Egypt. The deity was later adopted by the Greeks and the misinterpretation of the gesture of the finger to the lips led to the association of Harpocrates with silence, hence making him the god of silence, secrets and confidentiality in Ancient Greek and Roman mythology.

To discover more about religious syncretisms in Antiquity, please visit our relevant blog post: Religious Syncretisms in the Ancient Mediterranean Region.

Weight 252.9 g
Dimensions H 11.5 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum item number 1946,1204.11.

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