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Statuette of Re as a Standing Tomcat

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

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.

MEDIUM Bronze
  • 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)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 69.113
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    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
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.69.113_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    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.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (81%)
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    Statuette of Re as a Standing Tomcat

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