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Statuette of Re as a Standing Tomcat

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Traced on the ear of many cat statuettes is the feather of Ma 'at (cosmic harmony), identifying them as manifestations of the sun god Re because Ma 'at was closely linked with that deity. Although this statuette does not have such a design, it, too, probably represents Re, especially since it carries in its left hand an aegis, or insignia, in the form of the head of a lioness goddess associated with Re. The cat's classical knee-length, sleeveless tunic, called a chiton, reflects the cosmopolitan society of Ptolemaic Egypt. Its pierced ears originally held gold earrings.

  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 305–30 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 7/8 x 2 1/4 in. (14.9 x 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Solid cast bronze tomcat. The cat is represented striding, in a human manner, on his hind legs. He wears a sleeveless shirt decorated with vertical striations and fringed bottom, and has human hands and arms. Both hands are held up before the chest. The left hand holds a lion-headed “aegis”. Set into the hole, which is pierced vertically through the right fist, is the cylindrical stub of an object which the figure once held. The ears are pierced, and there is a tang projecting from the bottom of each foot. Condition: Some incrustation and corrosion; otherwise good.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Statuette of Re as a Standing Tomcat, 305–30 B.C.E. Bronze, 5 7/8 x 2 1/4 in. (14.9 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 69.113. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.69.113_NegF_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE CUR.69.113_NegF_print_bw.jpg., 2016
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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     <em>Statuette of Re as a Standing Tomcat</em>, 305–30 B.C.E. Bronze, 5 7/8 x 2 1/4 in. (14.9 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 69.113. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.69.113_NegF_print_bw.jpg)