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: Amulet of a goddess, perhaps Sakhmet

Amulet of a goddess, perhaps Sakhmet

Historical period(s)
Possibly Saite Dynasty 26, Third Intermediate Period, ca. 1075-656 BCE or later
Faience (glazed composition)
H x W x D: 10.3 x 2 x 3.2 cm (4 1/16 x 13/16 x 1 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
This is an amulet in the form of a striding female deity whose image combines the body of a woman with the head of a lioness. She wears an ankle-length sheath gown and tripartite wig; on her head is a sun disk with uraeus, the cobra-like serpent representing the radiance of the sun god.

The amulet depicts either the goddess Sakhmet or the goddess Bastet. Sakmet, a lion-headed goddess, was a symbol of power and protection for the Egyptian king. Bastet was the feline-headed, benevolent counterpart of Sakhmet. If no accompanying inscription identifies the figure, as in the case of this amulet, it can be difficult to tell which goddess is represented.

To 1906-1907
Unidentified owner, Egypt, to 1906-1907 [1]

From 1906-1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased in Egypt in from an unidentified owner the winter of 1906-1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1850, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
Egypt, protection, Saite Dynasty 26 (664 - 525 BCE), Sakhmet, Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1075 - 656 BCE)
Collection(s) Area
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.