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AN EGYPTIAN BRONZE WADJET-BAST
AN EGYPTIAN BRONZE WADJET-BAST

LATE PERIOD, CIRCA 664-332 B.C.

Details
AN EGYPTIAN BRONZE WADJET-BAST
LATE PERIOD, CIRCA 664-332 B.C.
Standing with left leg forward in front of an obelisk, wearing a close-fitting dress, armlets, bracelets, broad collar and tripartite striated wig, crowned with cobra-headed modius fronted by a uraeus, a headdress of double plumes and a sun-disc between elongated cow horns above, a papyrus-sceptre in her left hand, her well modelled head with a finely incised mane and whiskers, her eyes inlaid with gold, the obelisk decorated with a band of uraei above a winged sun-disc
16 ½ in. (42 cm.) high excl. tangs
Provenance
Nahman collection, Cairo, 1938, reputedly from Bubastis.
Wilhelm Horn (1870-1959) collection, Berlin; and thence by descent.
The Collection of the late Wilhelm Horn; Christie's, London, 11 December 1987, lot 262.
Resandro collection, acquired from the above sale.
Exhibited
Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung; Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Munich, Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst Munchen; Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Gott und Götter im Alten Ägypten, 1992-1993

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Chanel Clarke
Chanel Clarke Sale Coordinator

Lot Essay

PUBLISHED:
Schoske & Wildung, 1993, pp. 66-67, no. 42.
Grimm-Stadelmann, 2012, p. no. R-427.

There are numerous lion-headed deities populating the ancient Egyptian pantheon and, without an inscription, it can be difficult to determine which one is represented. In this example the elaborate headdress is characterised by a rearing cobra, representing the goddess Wadjet, traditionally the protective deity of Lower Egypt (Wilkinson, 2003, p. 226-228). In the Late Period she becomes associated with another powerful goddess of Lower Egypt, the feline-headed Bast or Bastet, becoming a lion-headed deity wearing a headdress with sun-disc and rearing cobra, called Wadjet-Bast.
For another example of bronze lion-headed goddess from the 26th Dynasty in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge MA, see acc. no. 1943.1121.B. According to the curator 'Inscriptions on Late Period lion-headed bronzes most commonly name the goddess Wadjet, associated with the Delta site of Buto'. See also the other bronze Wadjet-Bast in this sale, lot 130.
Representations of Egyptian deities standing in front of an obelisk are rare and limited to Solar deities such as Atum, Osiris and the lion-headed goddesses Sekhmet and Wadjet-Bast. In this remarkably fine and large example the goddess is depicted wearing the sun-disc headdress, reinforcing the connection with the solar cult. For another example of a bronze lion-headed goddess represented in front of an obelisk, cf. Chappaz, 2001, p. 37, no. 20; and Schneider & Raven, 1981, pp. 134-135, no. 137.

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