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Mint Quality Egyptian Faience Bastet Lion Headed Goddess Amulet

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Egyptian: Faience: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1161417
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This attractive piece is an Egyptian faience amulet of a seated Bastet, which dates circa 1100-800 B.C., Late New Kingdom/3rd Intermediate Period. This piece is approximately 2.25 inches high, and is a large example for the type. This mint quality and complete piece is a seated Bastet lion headed goddess that is seen holding a shrine-shaped sistrum, and is a rarer type than what is normally seen, which is the more common openwork hoop-shaped sistrum. The sistrum was a rattling musical instrument that was connected with ceremony, festivity, and merry-making. This sistrum attribute identifies this amulet as being Bastet, rather than the lion headed goddess Sekhmet, which is often the case, and according to Carol Andrews in "Amulets of Ancient Egypt", University of Texas Press, 1994, p. 32: "Of all the mained lion goddesses who were revered for their fierceness Bastet alone was 'transmogrified' into the less terrible cat, although even she often retained a lion-head when depicted as a woman, thus causing much confusion in identification. The female cat was particularly noted for its fecundity and so Bastet was adored as goddess of fertility and, with rather less logic, of festivity and intoxication. This is why, as a cat-headed woman, she carries a menyet collar with aegis-capped counterpoise and rattles a sistrum." In addition, Andrews states on p. 33: "All such pieces must have been worn by women to place them under the patronage of the goddess and perhaps endow them with her fecundity. They were essentially to be worn for life, but could have potency in the Other World." The piece offered here has a suspension hoop seen behind the head, and there is no apparent wear within this hoop which suggests that this attractive piece was votive, and this may also explain it's mint quality condition as well. The seated goddess is seen on an elaborate openwork throne whose sides are formed into the sinuous body of the Egyptian snake god Nehebkau. The facial features of this appealing piece have fine detail, and also have a rather haunting and mysterious look. This rare faience amulet has nice minute spotty dark brown mineral deposits that are seen over a light green/blue glaze, and this piece is in mint condition, with no cracks and/or chips, which are often seen on faience amulets of this large size. The molding of this piece has exceptional detail, and compares to an analogous example of the same type and size seen in Christie's Antiquities, Paris, March 2008, lot no. 115. (7,000.00-10,000.00 Euro estimates, 5,625 Euros realized. Note: This piece has the more common hoop-shaped sistrum, and is from the Charles Gillot collection, circa 1853-1903. See attached photo.) The piece offered here comes with a clear plexiglas display stand, and simply sits on the top surface, and can be easily lifted off. An exceptional large piece that is in mint condition, and is also a rare type. Ex: Robert Rustafjaell collection, circa 1890-1909. Published: "An Egyptian Collection formed by R. de Rustafjaell Bey", by the Ehrich Galleries, New York. Ex: Heckscher Museum of Art, Long Island, New York, deaccessioned circa 2011. (Note: Additional documentation is available to the purchaser.) I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: