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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > Egyptian Faience Sistrum Fragment with Hathor Head

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LOT 0008

GBP (£) 1,000 - 1,400
EUR (€) 1,170 - 1,640
USD ($) 1,270 - 1,770

Current bid: £509 (‡+bp*)
(1 Bid, Reserve not met)

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(1 Bid, Reserve not met)   |   Current bid: £509
LATE PERIOD, 664-332 B.C.
2 in. (44.4 grams, 50 mm).

Pale blue-green bifacial bust of Hathor with D-shaped face, characteristic banded hair with curled ends, cow's ears, broad collar of radiating segments; circular attachment point beneath for handle.

Acquired in the 1970s.
European private collection.

Cf. Schoske, S., Schönheit - Abglanz der Göttlichkeit. Kosmetik im Alten Ägypten, Munich, 1990, p.142, no.127, for a similar Hathor head element on a near complete sistrum.

This fragment is the central element of a highly decorative sistrum. The sistrum was a rattle-like instrument played exclusively by women in religious ceremonies. The sound produced by the sistrum was believed to drive away evil and soothe a god's anger. Hathor is the daughter of the sun god Re, and in her role as a mother goddess is often depicted as a cow or with bovine characteristics as here. Hathor is also associated with love, music and dancing, and the sistrum is one of her sacred symbols.