About this object

Solid cast copper alloy statuette of an ichneumon (or mongoose), standing on a thin pedestal. Probably from the top of a relic-box for an ichneumon. Described by Professor Percy Newberry as being of a “fine technique” and dating to the Ptomaic Period. The animal was cherished by the Egyptians for its ability to kill cobras and for this reason was associated with the gods Re and Atum who took the form of an ichneumon to kill the evil snake Apophis. The animal is also associated with Horus, the snake goddess Wadjet and the goddess Mafdet. The ichneumon was associated with the shrew, and together they represented the two faces of the sun-god, the ichneumon being a diurnal animal as opposed to the nocturnal shrew.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Late Period
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    664 BC - 332 BC
  • Materials
    Bronze
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1867 before
  • Measurements
    25 mm x 15 mm x 110 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer (Associated Person, collector, previous owner)

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Publications

  • Catalogue of the Mayer Collection Part 1. The Egyptian, Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities. Second and Revised Edition.

    Gatty, Charles

    Author: Gatty, Charles
    Publisher: The Committee of the Liverpool Free Public Library, Museum and Gallery of Art
    Date: 1879
    Description: Catalogue of most of Joseph Mayer's Egyptian and Near Eastern collection that was on display. It also includes a small number of other collections, such as those given by Mr William Crosfield in 1861, some by Mr Charles Stoess in 1869, and others by Mr J. A. Tinne in 1870. Occasionally reference will be made to the provenance of objects, in particular if they are from the Jospeh Sams or Lord Valentia (ex Henry Salt) collections. There are illustrations of some objects, in particular the amulets, by Mr Ll. Jewitt, FSA. Compared to Mayer's 1852 cataloue there are more detailed descriptions for inscribed objects such as stelae, giving names and titles and the character of the text, provided by Samuel Birch of the British Museum who visited the collections in March 1877.

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1867
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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