Figure of a Cat

11008108-1999_001_043_Apa_ARC.tif

Title

Figure of a Cat

Date

664-525 BC

Context

Late Period, Dynasty 26
Egypt
Egyptian

Medium/Dimensions

Bronze
2 3/4 x 13/16 x 1 3/4 in. (7 x 2.1 x 4.5 cm)

Object Number

1999.001.043

Description

The cat was honored throughout Egyptian history as both a pet and a domestic guardian, keeping the household free of pests. In addition, the cat was associated with the goddess Bastet, who often appears with a human body and feline head. The primary cult center of Bastet was located at Bubastis (modern Tell Basta), where enormous numbers of mummified cats have been discovered within the temple precinct.

In the Late period and thereafter, sacred animals were bred, mummified, and presented as offerings in temples before being buried in special necropoleis. The coffins for these mummies took two forms: a narrow box with a figure of the animal on the lid or a box in the shape of the animal itself. This diminutive example is not large enough to hold even a kitten and probably sat atop a small wood or bronze coffin. Tangs for attaching the figure to the box are preserved below the front paws and the tail.

Credit Line

Charlotte Lichirie Collection of Egyptian Art

Exhibits/Publications

Hall of Ancient Egypt, The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas, August 2014 - Present
Peter Lacovara and Betsy Teasley Trope, The Realm of Osiris (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2001), 67.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Peter Harholdt.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

No

Citation

“Figure of a Cat,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 12, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7951.

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