Exquisite Ancient Egyptian Gold Cat Amulet

$975.65

An extremely fine Ancient Egyptian solid gold amulet in the shape of the goddess Bastet in the form of a cat, with her features rendered in a naturalistic manner, and portrayed sitting on a flat base. Dark encrustation to parts of the surface, the amulet features a blocked suspension loop to the back.

Date: Circa 1550-1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period
Provenance: From a private French collection, formed in the early 20th century
Condition: Fine condition. Suspension loop is blocked.

SOLD

SKU: CS-57 Category: Tags: ,

Amulets were popular in Ancient Egypt and were worn by the living or buried with the dead. The common word for amulet in the dynastic period was mkt, which means protector: amulets were designed to protect their owners. Amulets were usually modelled in the shape of specific deities. The goddess Bastet was depicted both as a tame cat but also as a ferocious lion-headed figure. She retained a lion’s head when depicted as a woman which frequently causes confusion with identification and is often confused with the goddess Sekhmet. Bastet, like her animal counterpart, was associated with fecundity and commonly portrayed with kittens. Thus, she was adored as the goddess of fertility and protector of pregnant women and young children. Small amulets such as this one were intended to bestow such properties to their wearer. One popular depiction of Bastet depicts her seated, surrounded with a litter of kittens, to pronounce her fecundity. Usually made from faience this type appears after the Third Intermediate Period. Amulets of Bastet, because of her association with fertility, were often worn in life as well as in the afterlife.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.

Weight 0.5 g
Dimensions H 0.8 cm
Culture

Egyptian Mythology

Metal

Region

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