Pottery mould

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Faience case
Object Type
Implements and utensils, Mould, Figurine mould
New Kingdom to Third Intermediate Period
Height: 50mm | Width: 28mm | Depth: 20mm
Number of Elements
Cat | Lion
Divine Name

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A pottery mould for a lion-headed god labelled '1818'. It possibly depicts the goddess Bastet holding a staff and wearing a cobra headdress. WK42 is a very similar amulet and EC667 is a very similar mould. Although we have called this a 'Sekhmet amulet', and indeed amulets of feline-headed goddesses are often so categorised, strictly speaking it could be one of a number of feline-headed goddesses: Bastet, Mut, Wadjyt, etc. All were daughters of the sun-god Re. The feline head may be either a cat or a lioness. If a cat it is more likely to reflect the passive, nurturing aspect of the goddess, if a lioness, it is more likely to show her aggressive side. The addition of the uraeus cobra may possibly be to reinforce the aggressive or protective side of the goddess and to show her as the Eye of Re, a daughter of the sun-god. The Egyptians may not have minded exactly which goddess was intended. Indeed, in the New Kingdom tale of the Return of the Distant Goddess (time of Tutankhamun), the aggressive goddess Sekhmet is changed into the gentle goddess Hathor by plying her with alcohol!

Wellcome Number
Other Identity
1818 (MacGregor number printed in red on a rectangular label)
Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge: 26 Jun–06 Jul 1922, Lot 1540
Previous Owners
Rev. William MacGregor (1848–1937) | Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936)
Long-term loan, The Wellcome Trust (15 Feb 1971)
Last modified: 18 Jun 2022

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