Late Period, 664-332 BC. A carved stone figure of Babi, or Thoth, the sacred baboon crouching on a rectangular base. 130 grams, 60mm (2 1/2"). Property of a North London gentleman; previously the property of a lady; acquired in the late 1970s on the London art market. The baboon was considered sacred to the Egyptians due to the fact that they were observed at sun rise standing up in the direction of the east and calling out to the sun. They are commonly depicted at the base of obelisks as guardians of the solar deities. They are also associated with Thoth, the god of wisdom, medicine, magic and the maintainer of the stability of the universe. Baboons are also known in Egyptian mythology from their underworld connection under the name of the god Babi.The name Babi which means 'Bull of the Baboon', relates to the alpha male of the troop and is associated with the power of the Pharaoh. He is also seen on papyri standing near to the scales of justice that weighs the heart of the deceased before Osiris, and he acts as a destroyer of the sinful in the next world.