An Egyptian Mummy Of A Cat
From Egypt's Ptolemaic Period, 332-30 BC. Almost all Egyptian gods were associated with some animal and assumed the form of that particular beast. The main concentration of cat burials was at sites with an association with a feline deity. Cats were seen as the incarnation of Bastet, goddess of music and joy and protector of women, whose cult centre was at Bubastis in the Delta, but there were other feline deities elsewhere in Egypt. If a sacred animal was mummified and formally presented to a god, that was a sign of devotion on the part of someone making a pilgrimage to a temple. Many of these animals were killed deliberately, with x-rays revealing, for instance, that huge numbers of cats found in temple cemeteries had their necks broken while still relatively young. This particular example measures 15-3/4"L.
PROVENANCE: Ex-Fischer Collection, acquired in Cairo, ca. 1955 (very well-known, a good part of his collection was sold at Christie's New York in the 90s). Mr. Fischer is in his mid-80s, he was a Cinematographer and Director. His profile can be seen at this link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0279051/
(there is a reserve on this lot)
As the x-rays show, mummy has separated in two pieces, but can be restored very well (email for details). All original.