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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
  • Possible Place Made: Memphis, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 670–332 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 25 to early Dynasty 26
    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)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    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.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    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
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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