Skip Navigation

Isis, the Mother of Apis

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The mother of the Apis bull was honored as a form of the goddess Isis, who was associated with the mother of the king. The mother of the Apis bull was also buried with great ceremony.

This ornament representing the mother of the Apis wears an ostrich feather crown, a sun disk guarded by a uraeus-cobra, long cow horns, and long human hair arranged in the style of queens. Between her eyes is the diamond spot that also marked Apis bulls.
CULTURE Egyptian
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Possible Place Made: Memphis, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 670-332 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late XXV Dynasty to early XXVI Dynasty
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period to Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 3 3/8 in. (11.5 x 7 x 8.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 73.25
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Egyptian. Isis, the Mother of Apis, ca. 670-332 B.C.E. Bronze, 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 3 3/8 in. (11.5 x 7 x 8.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 73.25. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 73.25_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 73.25_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
    "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 A bronze finial with head of Apis bull wearing sun disk with uraeus surmounted by two plumes and wearing lappet wig and floral collar with falcon terminals. Single menat from back of plumes to shoulder area. Two columns of inscription on shaft. Condition: Excellent. Brown patina with green in areas. Small portion gone from lower edge of broad collar and portion gone from lower edge of finial shaft.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.