Stories, events and life in general from Miss Kitty's point of view


An Egyptian bronze cat

Some of you may know that I have a number of other blogs dealing with art and almost on a daily bases spending time researching the various news sources for interesting articles to share on Twitter. Since Miss K has her own Twitter account (MsKittyvanDyck), I have started recently researching ‘cats in the news,’ when I came across the following story about an Egyptian bronze cat that I would like to share with you. 

The article appeared in ARTdaily and is copied in full without changes:

This charming hollow cast bronze cat is shown alert, sitting upright with the tail curled to the right side. Estimate: £15,000 to £20,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Bonhams sale of Antiquities on April 13 includes a beautiful but inscrutable Egyptian cat cast in bronze, with gold earrings, that dates from circa 664-32BC estimated to sell for £15,000 to £20,000. 

This charming hollow cast bronze cat is shown alert, sitting upright with the tail curled to the right side, the body with stippled surface, wearing a Bes-headed pectoral suspended on a cord and original gold earrings. It has beautiful well-defined features with recessed eyes and incised whiskers. The feline comes from a private Swiss collection. Bought in New York in 1958. With copies of accompanying collection notes. 

Photo: Bonhams.

Such cats are images of the cat goddess Bastet and were often placed on the top of bronze boxes containing mummified cats. 

Madeleine Perridge, Head of Antiquities at Bonhams comments: “This is a wonderfully striking cat with beautifully defined features, particularly the finely incised detail of the fur and the delightful original gold earrings. Considering that it is more than 2,000 years old, it is in excellent condition. In fact you could say that this cat for all its great age, has still not outlived its nine lives.” 

Praised for controlling vermin which could be a threat to the harvest, Egyptian nobles of the New Kingdom period would also take cats on bird-hunting expeditions. By the Graeco-Roman period, cats as the personification of the goddess Bastet, were deemed to be sacred animals and it was forbidden to remove them from Egypt. 

The cat goddess Bastet eventually replaced the cult of Mafdet, a lion-headed goddess. Bastet's image softened over time and she became the deity representing protection, fertility and motherhood. 

As a revered animal important to Egyptian society and religion, cats like humans, were also mummified. Mummified cats were given as an offering to Bastet. In 1888, an Egyptian farmer uncovered a large tomb with mummified cats and kittens. This discovery outside the town of Beni Hasan had eighty-thousand cat mummies, dating to 1000-2000 BCE. 

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Enjoy your Sunday and don’t forget
the calendar photo contest is coming up


Serafina Seidenfell said...

Hallo liebe Miss Kitty, lieber Egmont,

das ist ja eine wunderschöne Bastet-Statue. Wenn ich ein wenig Geld übrig hätte, ja dann .... ;-))

Wir wünschen Euch ein einen schönen Sonntag!

Ganz liebe Grüße

Finchen, Ayla und Kerstin

Admiral Hestorb said...

I didn't know that. I will search for her name when I get over to Twitter this morning.

Miss Kitty said...

Guten tag Kerstin und Ayla,

Vielen dank für euren Besuch und Kommentar.

Wenn wir $30-35,000.00 Dollar im Haus herumliegen haben, dann können wir uns es leisten. Denn jetzt werden wir nur davon träumen.

Da eurer Sonntag ist fast vorbei und unserer am Anfang ist, wünschen wir euch ein guten Anfang zur der Woche.

Miss Kitty und Egmont

Miss Kitty said...

Dear Admiral Hestorb,

Is it not interesting what one can find on the Internet. Learning more about our ancestors is just great and maybe now we will get treated better by our humans when they see we were worshiped.

No sun here, overcast and light rain. Hope it is better where you are.

Miss Kitty and Egmont

Katnip Lounge said...

Miss Kitty,
This confirms what we have known all along, that we Cats are Superior Beings. Those ancient people were very smart, and very artistic, as well.

ABBY said...

Miss Kitty
We sure like how the Egyptians thought of cats, it's a shame that respect has not been transferred to modern times. Lovely love piece!


Cat said...

Hello Miss Kitty, another very interesting article; the little bronze cat is delightful!

I'm afraid I don't twitter, or I would follow you of course...I find blogging takes up too much time for twitter and facebook etc.

Miss Kitty said...

Dear Katnip Lounge,

Thank you for dropping by. Yes the ancients were very wise but it is also sad that today we do not honour the cat as in ancient times.

Wishing you a wonderful week,
Miss Kitty and Egmont

Miss Kitty said...

Dear Abby,

Thank you for dropping in and commenting. We agree with you that the old ways of honouring the feline should also have been part of our modern life.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week,
Miss Kitty and Egmont

Miss Kitty said...

Dear Catrina,

It is always very lovely when you drop by for a visit.
We agree that between blogging and all the social networking, there leaves little time for other things. It is as though one almost needs an assistant.

We did not know you were also on FaceBook.

Wishing you all the very best,
Miss Kitty and Egmont

lupie said...

We agree with Katnip Lounge 100%!!! or should it be 101% ..???

Miss Kitty said...

Greetings Lupie,

We also agree with Katnip Lounge, who would not?

Warmest regards,
Miss Kitty and Egmont