Sistrum

M11535

On display

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).