Sistrum

Egyptian
Late Period, Dynasty 26–30
664–332 B.C.


Dimensions

Height x width x length: 44.5 x 14.5 x 10 cm (17 1/2 x 5 11/16 x 3 15/16 in.) (c/ base)

Accession Number

1970.572

Medium or Technique

Bronze

On View

Egyptian Late Period Gallery (Gallery 216)

Collections

Musical Instruments, The Ancient World

Classifications

Idiophones

Sistrum (ceremonial rattle) with handle surmounted by Hathor heads. The loop is fitted with three copper rods supporting tiny metal disks (now restored). Details of the wig and broad collar are incised. Hathor’s shoulders are surmounted by cobras wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. Within the loop is another rearing cobra wearing a winged sun disk. On the sides of the loop are images of the goddess Mut, Mistress of Ishru shaking sistra before Amen-Re, who is portrayed as a recumbent ram. On the handle is an offering formula.

Provenance

Inscriptions suggests that it came from Karnak. By 1970, with Ernst E. Kofler, Lucerne, Switzerland; purchased by the MFA from Ernst E. Kofler December 16, 1970.
(Accession Date: December 16, 1970)

Credit Line

Edward J. and Mary S. Holmes Fund