Cat Statuette intended to contain a mummified cat

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

About the work

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A cat sits stoically, wearing a necklace, collar, and at one time a gold earring. Made of bronze in the Ptolemaic period, the statuette once held a mummified cat. Cats were living embodiments of deities like Bastet and were treated with great respect. Elites dressed their pet cats with gold jewelry and precious stones, much like how they would adorn themselves. The cat wears an Eye of Ra amulet on its necklace. In Egyptian mythology, Bastet is the daughter of the sun god, Ra. She was a protective deity and the eye further wards off evil spirits.

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