An Egyptian Bronze Figure of Neith, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664 - 525 BCE
Referred to by the ancient Egyptians as ‘Mistress of the Bow’ and ‘Ruler of the Arrows’, this superb bronze statue depicts the ancient Egyptian goddess Neith. Worshipped from Predynastic Egypt (c. 3400 BC) onwards, this warrior goddess was one of the oldest and most significant Egyptian deities, said to have been present at the world’s creation. She was also associated with early queens, demonstrating her importance in Pharaonic Egypt. This fine example is characteristic of the facial style found during the mid-26th Dynasty and the Saite female figural form with its large bust and long slim hips.
Here, the goddess is shown striding, her left leg forward, wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt decorated with an incised circular design. She is clothed in a tightly-fitted sheath dress and wears an elaborate broad collar around her neck and an armband on her upper right arm. The position of her arms suggests she held a scepter, a symbol of power, in her outstretched left hand and perhaps an ankh, representing life, in her right that is held straight by her side. The statuette is standing on a rectangular integral base which carries a hieroglyphic inscription on four sides.
for related examples see: Berman, Lawrence M., and Kenneth J. Bohač. Catalogue of Egyptian Art: The Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1999 Reproduced and Mentioned: p. 478
Lythgoe, Albert M. 1908. "Recent Egyptian Acquisitions." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 3, no. 12 (December), p. 220, 223, fig. 2.
Condition: Tip of headdress now missing, some restoration but overall in very good condition.
Dimensions: Height: 6 1/2 inches (16.5 cm)
Provenance: Private collection of Helga and Gottfried Hertel, Cologne, Germany, acquired in 1983.