Statuette of the goddess Mut
Objects made of amethyst were popular from Dynasty XII to the end of Dynasty XVIII. In this piece the opulence of the stone and the skill in working it recall lapidary work of the reign of Amenophis (in hardstone bracelet plaques in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Hayes, 1959: 243) – The long slanting eyes are characteristic of early representations of the King’s wife Queen Tiye, when the worship of Mut, the consort of the state god Amun, became particularly popular. The piece has therefore been dated to this reign.
The difficulty of working such a hard material has evidently conditioned the proportions and style of this piece. The goddess stands with left foot advanced on a shallow rectangular base, her arms to her sides. She wears a tripartite wig with uraeus, the serpent symbol of Egyptian kingship, surmounted by the Double Crown of the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt, at the base of which at the rear is a perforated suspension lug, suggesting that the figure was designed to be worn as an amulet. The figure has been broken through the middle and repaired.
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection 3 volume catalogue, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997).
Formerly in the North Collection.
Purchased by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury from K. J. Hewett in 1951.
Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia in 1973 as part of the original gift.
Title/Description: Statuette of the goddess Mut
Born: 1400 BC c.
Object Type: Figure
Measurements: h. 53 x w. 16 x d. 20 mm
Accession Number: 316
Historic Period: Dynasty XVIII (c. 1400 BC)
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1973