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Figure of a Cat

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Most cat statues of this type served as containers for cat mummies. Because this statue is solid, it must have functioned differently, perhaps as a temple offering. A scarab, symbolizing the morning sun, was frequently placed between the ears of such cats, perhaps an artistic interpretation of the stripes on a cat’s fur.
MEDIUM Wood (sycamore fig), gold leaf, gesso, bronze, copper, pigment, rock crystal, glass
  • Place Made: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES 305 B.C.E.-1st century C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period-Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS 26 3/8 x 7 1/4 x 19 in. (67 x 18.4 x 48.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Figure of a Cat, 305 B.C.E.-1st century C.E. Wood (sycamore fig), gold leaf, gesso, bronze, copper, pigment, rock crystal, glass, 26 3/8 x 7 1/4 x 19 in. (67 x 18.4 x 48.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund , 37.1945E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 37.1945E_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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