Cat's Head

Glass or semiprecious stone inlays in the eyes once enhanced this cat’s lifelike appearance. The realistically rendered head also contains symbolic elements that are not immediately apparent; the incised details of fur on the ears evoke the shape of an ostrich feather, the hieroglyph for the goddess Maat—another daughter of the sun god Re, and the personification of truth and harmony.

Unlike simple loop earrings, which typically adorn cat’s heads like this one, these earrings follow the ornate style popular in Roman Egypt.