Finial with Figure of the God Bes
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Bes was popularly worshipped as protector of women and infants, and as a facilitator of fertility. Shown standing on the head and shoulders of a woman with a baby, in Bes with Lute the god protects the mother and newborn by driving away potential harm with the sounds of his musical instrument. The large, round ears and facial folds seen on the Finial are reminiscent of a snarling lion and connect Bes with powerful felines. Because Bes was a multifaceted god who offered protection during such times of transition as pregnancy and birth, women wore his images, like the Amulet, while giving birth or during rites of passage.
ca. 1075-656 B.C.E.
Dynasty 21 to Dynasty 25
Third Intermediate Period
15 15/16 x 2 13/16 in. (40.5 x 7.2 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Bronze figure of the god Bes on papyrus column with swelling shaft and plain capital in the form of papyrus umbel. The god is nude and represented with broad face and lion's mane and ears, crowned with feather crown consisting of five plumes on the back of each of which is a ring. The left hand rests on his thigh, the right is raised, palm outward. A lion's tail growing from his body, in back reaches to the papyrus umbel. The figure apparently solid-cast in one piece with papyrus umbel which is fitted to separately cast hollow column. Crown also separately cast and inserted in head. All details apparently present in wax model.
Condition: Practically perfect.
This item is not on view
Egyptian. Finial with Figure of the God Bes, ca. 1075-656 B.C.E. Bronze, 15 15/16 x 2 13/16 in. (40.5 x 7.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 46.127. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.127_SL3.jpg)
overall, 46.127_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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