Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The human face with cow’s ears and horns on the sistrum’s handle represents the goddess Hathor, who personifies heaven and motherhood. The pairs of holes originally held rods with metal disks or squares that produced sound when shaken. Egyptian myths suggest that enraged gods and goddesses became pacified at hearing the sounds of the sistrum. As a symbol of Hathor appeased, the sistrum came to be used in rituals and ceremonies for Hathor, Bastet, and other deities.
10 3/16 x 2 11/16 x 1 5/16 in. (25.9 x 6.9 x 3.4 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sistrum (Rattle), 332–30 B.C.E. Bronze, 10 3/16 x 2 11/16 x 1 5/16 in. (25.9 x 6.9 x 3.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.583E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.583E_temples.jpg)
installation, Egypt Reborn: Temples Installation (2010), CUR.37.583E_temples.jpg
. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Bronze sistrum. The terminal of the handle s in the form of a double Hathor head (human-face, cow's ears but no wig). The loop has three pairs of holes for insertion of the elements which actually rattle but only one of these elements is actually preserved (in the central pair of holes).
Condition: Once broken in half at bottom of Hathor head but since rejoined. Holes and cracks in shaft; dark patina in spots. Surface on top of head corroded.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.