Mummified Cat

Culture: Egyptian
Period: Ptolemaic period, 332-30 B.C.
Material: Linen, mummified animal.
Dimensions: 57 cm high
Price: 14 000 Euro
Ref: 1359
Provenance: Private collection F. G. Hilton-Price prior to 1897. Thence auctioned with Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge London in July 1911, lot 1024. With original auction sticker. Thence in private estate. Last at the English art market.
Condition: One ear missing, otherwise wonderfully preserved.
Description: Mummified cat wrapped in brown linen. The body tied up in cylindrical form and sewed at the back. The head is modelled, mouth, whiskers, nose and eyes are painted. The ears are raised. On the side an old collection label. An enclosed label refers to the site Beni Hassan. Published in “A Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Possession of F. G. Hilton-Price”, Dir. S.A., London 1897, page 317, number 2074. Mummified cats such the present one were sacrificed in honor of the goddess Bastet. If a believer bought a cat of his choice, it was killed by a priest. The priest then processed the dead cat in the same traditional manner of mummification that was common with humans. The buyer then placed the mummy in a tomb especially dedicated for the purpose of cat sacrifices. Mounted.