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Cat's Head

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Special Exhibitions, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
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.
MEDIUM Bronze, gold
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 30 B.C.E. to third century C.E.
    PERIOD Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS 2 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 13/16 in. (6 x 4.4 x 4.6 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Cat's Head, 30 B.C.E. to third 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
    IMAGE overall, 36.114_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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