About this object

A sistrum was a hand held percussion instrument with discs threaded onto rods, which sounded a bit like a rattle. It was used in temple rituals to accompany singing and dancing. It was later associated with the cult of Isis in the Greek and Roman world. The rods with discs that passed through the arched loop are now mostly missing. On the top is a figure of a feline suckling her kittens; which has previously been described as a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. One both sides is a floral motif. Assumed to be from Egypt (possibly purchased from Joseph Sams in1850, or Bram Hertz).

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    1st - 3rd century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Joseph Mayer
  • Collector
    Joseph Mayer
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1850 before
  • Measurements
    250 mm x 50 mm x 35 mm
  • Related people
    Joseph Mayer ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • Egyptian Treasures in Europe volume 4: National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool

    Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)

    Author: Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)
    Publisher: Utrecht University
    Date: 2001
    Description: CD ROM with 1500 objects from World Museum's Egyptian collection, including some destroyed in World War Two. This is now available online: http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/default.aspx


Previous owners

  • Joseph Mayer

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