This elegantly rendered and well-preserved seated cat is made of blue glazed faience, a material frequently employed for small amulets, scarabs, and scaraboids. Almost certainly, it represents a temple cat, sacred to the goddess Bastet, the creature goddess of Bubastis, home of the Twenty-second Dynasty. Amulets such as this could be worn not only in life, to bestow the goddess's protection, but also in death; a similar example was discovered within the wrappings of the High Priest of Ptah, Prince Sheshonq, son of Osorkon II, at Memphis in 1942. On an integral base with a ribbed suspension ring.
Condition: Tips of ears restored, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall. A rare and wonderful piece.
Dimensions: Height: 2 1/2 inches (6.3 cm)
Provenance: Ex-French collection, NY private collection, Christie's, London, 11 Jun 1997 Lot 56.
Published: Royal Athena, Art of the Ancients, XXIII 2012, No. 218.
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