Snakes were a sign of power to the Ancient Egyptians, along with the cobra, it was a popular amulet. The cobra was associated with the Lower Egyptian goddess, Wadjyt. An important deity, she was associated with royalty and kingship. The rearing cobra, with its hood extended, was known as the Uraeus and was worn by the pharaoh, often together with the vulture goddess Nehkbet. The two goddesses were so deeply imbedded in the concept of divinity, that the pharaoh’s second name was known as the Two Ladies, to represent the two goddesses. During the Roman period snakes were associated with protection. They were used to protect houses from mice. The snake was also associated with Asclepius, the god of healing and were believed to bring good health. Another god linked to snakes was Mercury, one of his attributes was the caduceus, a staff the god carried which held two intertwining serpents.
Romano-Egyptian Silver Snake Applique
A fine Romano-Egyptian snake applique cast from silver featuring the thin body curved to form meandering loops. Incisions have been made across the head creating geometric motifs and horizontal bands across the tail. The reverse is unadorned with a small protruding lug for mounting on the back of the head. The snake comes with a custom-made stand.
Provenance: ‘The Ancient Menagerie Collection’ formerly the property of a Cambridgeshire lady, collected since the 1990s and acquired from auctions and dealers throughout Europe and the USA, now ex London collection.
Condition: Very fine condition, some encrustation visible to the surface, slight chipping to the end of the tail. Measurements of the statuette itself 8.1 length, 4.9cm width