Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Glass or precious stone inlays in the eyes once enhanced this cat’s lifelike appearance. The realistically rendered head also contains symbolic elements that are not immediately apparent. The incised details of fur on the ears evoke the shape of an ostrich feather, [feather hieroglyph], the hieroglyph for the goddess Maat—another daughter of Re, and the personification of truth and harmony.
Unlike simple loop earrings, which typically adorn cat’s heads like this one, these earrings follow the ornate style popular in Roman Egypt.
30 B.C.E. to 3rd century C.E.
2 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 13/16 in. (6 x 4.4 x 4.6 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Cat's Head, 30 B.C.E. to 3rd century C.E. Bronze, gold, 2 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 13/16 in. (6 x 4.4 x 4.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 36.114. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 36.114_PS6.jpg)
overall, 36.114_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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A small bronze head of a cat to base of neck. The ears are pierced and have gold discoid and pendant earrings which appear to be ancient and contemporary with the head. The eyes were originally inset and still have extensive traces of the glass inlay. There are slight incisions on the large ears. The interior of the head is hollow and corroded. Remnants of linen adhere to this interior surface. The head is probably from a small chest or sarcophagus containing the mummy of an animal. It is a late piece.
Condition, the base is nicked, the surface appears to be peeling in spots.
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