Exquisite Egyptian Faience Amulet of a Lion-Headed Goddess

£ 1,950.00

An incredibly fine Ancient Egyptian amulet of the lion-headed goddess in turquoise-coloured faience. She is represented as a woman, seated on a throne with moulded decoration on the sides. Her long hair is divided by the shoulders and she wears a full-length dress. She is holding a sistrum on her knees, which is picked out in black faience. There is a suspension loop at the back, behind the ears.


Date: Circa 715-332 BC
Period: Late Dynastic Period
Condition: Very fine condition; complete and intact; very minor chip to one elbow; a few accretions.


SKU: AS-3555 Category: Tags: , ,

Amulets held different meanings, depending on their type or form. Small amulets depicting gods and goddesses seem to have induced the protective powers of the deity. On the other hand, small representations of anatomical features or creatures suggest that the wearer required protection over a specific body part, or that he/she desired the skills of a particular animal. Amulets depicting animals were very common in the Old Kingdom Period, whilst representations of deities gained popularity in the Middle Kingdom.

There were a number of maned lion goddesses in Ancient Egyptian religion, but only Bastet could transform into the cat. She often retained the lion-head when represented as a woman, which can cause her to be confused with the lion-headed goddess, Sekhmet. The presence of the sistrum here, a musical instrument connected with merrymaking, suggests that this lion-headed goddess represented Bastet in her original, fearsome form. As an amulet, it would have been worn to show particular devotion to the goddess, and to place the wearer under her protection.

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

Weight 18 g
Dimensions H 5.8 cm




Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 26.7.868.