Sekhmet was the fierce goddess of the Memphite area, forming a powerful trio with her husband, the creator-god Ptah, and their son, Nerfertum. Sekhmet was goddess of the sun and war: she symbolised the scorching heat of the sun, and brought plague and pestilence. She was seen as the fiercest of warriors, and was the protector of the pharaohs. It was said that the desert was caused by her breath alone, and she was rendered as a lion because this big cat was the bravest hunter known to the Egyptians. Her destructive wrath could be placated, however, by her priestesses performing annual rituals before statues of the goddess. This has led to many images of Sekhmet being preserved.
To find out more about Egyptian faience please see our relevant blog post: What is Egyptian Faience?