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Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Egyptian Bronze Cat Head for the Goddess Bastet

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LOT 0044

GBP (£) 4,000 - 6,000
EUR (€) 4,780 - 7,170
USD ($) 4,870 - 7,310

Opening Bid
£3,600 (EUR 4,304; USD 4,385) (‡+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

LATE PERIOD, 664-332 B.C.

A well-proportioned bronze cat head modelled in the round with stylised features and recessed eyes, possibly for inlays, hollow-formed; accompanied by a custom-made display base. 2 5/8 in. (4 3/4 in.) (241 grams, 68 mm (862 grams total, 12 cm high including stand)).

Ex private French collection, 1970s.
Ex Patrick Declerck, Auction, Douai, France, sale no.775, 16 February 2014, lot 22.
Accompanied by a copy of a French cultural passport no.158919.
Accompanied by an academic report by Egyptologist Paul Whelan.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11290-189882.

Cf. The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 56.16.1, for a comparable, albeit decorated, cat head; cf. The British Museum, museum number EA11556, for a similar style of head; Roeder, G., Ägyptische Bronzewerke, Berlin 1956, pp. 344-346.

The cat was sacred to the goddess Bastet, who enjoyed great status in the Late Period and Ptolemaic-Roman times and was worshipped in many parts of Egypt. Statuettes of the goddess depict her as a cat-headed woman wearing a long, tight-fitting dress. Her main cult centre was at Bubastis in the eastern Delta, where investigations in the 19th century revealed heaps of cat bones mixed with copper-alloy cat statuettes and heads. Many hundreds have also been recovered from the area of her temple, the Bubasteion, at Saqqara.