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Statue of the Goddess Bast

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

CULTURE Egyptian
MEDIUM Bronze, gold, electrum
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664–332 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 7 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 1 11/16 in. (18.4 x 5.7 x 4.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Solid cast bronze statuette of goddess standing with feet together in small base. She wears a full-length, close-fitting garment. The sleeves end at her mid-upper arms and are extended (cape-like) from body of garment. Her right arm is held straight at her side with fingers extended. Left arm is bent at elbow; hand is held flat to chest below breasts. Against her hand and chest is pressed an amuletic head of a goddess (Sakhmet?), with lappet wig, plumes and shield collar. The main figure wears a broad collar necklace and her ears are pieced (right ear lobe missing). She wears a short curled Nubian wig with side-lock (or ribbon) which falls behind her right shoulder. The base of her crown (with transverse bar) is preserved through headdress (of another material?) is missing. It is possible that she wore an uraeus but her forehead and the forepart of her wig is scarred by an irregular rectangular “cut-out”. Her round face is considerably mutilated: the nose is missing and the lips seem to be rubbed down. The eyes show silver or electrum corneas and blackened irises (see condition below). There is negative space between her sidelock and right shoulder; between her elbows and waist and between her feet. Condition: Surface dark and generally smooth, badly affected by disease. Color now dull brown with a gleam of golden brown here and there - especially on necklace. Crown missing. Face and wig abraided.Small chunk missing from right arm below sleeve. Left arm also bruised near elbow. Pock mark on left cheek and on plume of amulet. The “aegis” had a headdress of tall feathers (?). Face completely worn. The face shows a repair on one cheek, perhaps original and rendered necessary by a flaw in the cast. Had earring and inlaid eyes. Nose flattened. The tang has been broken off. Technique: A solid casting. One piece cast of good material and workmanship. The eyes are somewhat unusual in technic and rather casually executed. Gold was hammered in for the lids and iris and that was gouged out to receive electrum for the corneas. The casting was a very good one has been roughly handled and bronze disease has injured its surface. Gap on forehead shows hammer marks under the surface or possibly the piece (once had its) surface forced in.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Egyptian. Statue of the Goddess Bast, 664–332 B.C.E. Bronze, gold, electrum, 7 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 1 11/16 in. (18.4 x 5.7 x 4.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.269E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.269E_front.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 37.269E_front.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2004
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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