Permanent Collection Catalogue Available
Sudan, Napatan; lion's head component, Egypt, probably New Kingdom, Late Period, Dynasty 25
Amethyst and gold, Overall: 3.5 x 2.9 x 2.7 cm (1 3/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 1/16 in.). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1987.1
This pendant consists of two parts: a superbly carved lion’s head in amethyst that has been set into a D-shaped gold base consisting of a platform surrounded by eight seated baboons. The lion’s head is an heirloom from the New Kingdom, most likely a gaming piece that had been adapted in the Napatan period to serve as an pendant amulet. This procedure was fairly common in antiquity as a means of recycling precious stones. The importance of leonine deities in Nubian religion was obviously the motivating force behind the creation of this spectacular ornament.
CMA, 24 February-17 April 1988, The Year in Review for 1987, cat.: CMA Bulletin 75, no. 2 (February 1988), no. 6
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