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Waterspout in the Shape of a Lion

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

In addition to channeling occasional storm water from temple roofs and walls, waterspouts such as this one were believed to have magical qualities. Akin to sphinxes, the leonine images symbolized power and guarded the structures they adorned.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664-30 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26 or later
    PERIOD Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 8 9/16 in. (19 x 11.5 x 21.7 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Waterspout in the Shape of a Lion, 664-30 B.C.E. Limestone, 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 8 9/16 in. (19 x 11.5 x 21.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 35.1311. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE front, 35.1311_front_PS1.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 Sculptors model of a head of a lion used as a gargoyle. The lion's head rests against a flat wall. Two roughly modeled feet stretch out below enclosing a trough. The modeling is fine and the piece is in excellent condition. This was evidently intended as a model of an architectural detail. This motif was used in Egyptian architecture as early as the ancient kingdom although this piece doubtless is not earlier than the Saite age and is probably later. Condition: One large chip on the left mane and a few chips on the back panel.
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    Waterspout in the Shape of a Lion