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Cat Coffin

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

MEDIUM Wood, gesso, pigment, linen, animal remains
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664–332 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 24 7/8 × 10 3/16 × 17 5/16 in. (63.2 × 25.9 × 44 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The cat coffin is made of wood, covered by gesso and pigment. Although not visible, X-ray imaging has revealed mass of disarticulated bones and other unindentified material in the interior of the coffin. The outer gesso coating is cracking and flaking off the wood. The wooden cat coffin sits upright, staring forward with pricked ears. The snout features indentations for the nostrils and an incision for the mouth. The two front legs are completely extended and elongated while the hind legs are bent, so that the cat appears to be sitting on its haunches. The tail is swept to the object’s right side and extends to the tip of the front paws. There is a painted necklace with black beads, red string, and a semicircular pendant with red dots. The body appears to have been painted white. The wooden cat sits on a plinth with a rounded posterior and flaring sides in the shape of an Egyptian hieroglyph “sA,” meaning protection. Condition: There is significant wear of the base with cracks and wormholes. The surface appeared to be flaking.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Cat Coffin, 664–332 B.C.E. Wood, gesso, pigment, linen, animal remains, 24 7/8 × 10 3/16 × 17 5/16 in. (63.2 × 25.9 × 44 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1941E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1941E_glass_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1941E_glass_SL1.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.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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