Inventory Number: 37381
This statue depicts the lion-headed goddess Wadjet, venerated in the city of Buto, modern Tell el-Fara’in the Nile Delta. She is the patron goddess of royalty as well as the lower region of Egypt. Here, the goddess is seated on a four-sided, low-backed throne. Her wig falls onto her shoulders in three parts. Over her head floats the sun disk god, adorned with its manifestation, the ureaus snake. The decoration of the goddess’s throne is of particular interest. It presents various scenes of a pharoh, identified as Apries, an important XXVI Dynasty ruler. The cult of the goddess Wadjet was documented continuously since ancient times, but experienced increased popularity during the XXVI Dynasty. This increased popularity lead to a greater production of similar statues.
This statue, hollow on the inside, served as a sarcophagus for an ichneumon or Egyptian mongoose, the sacred animal of the local god of the city of Letopolis, modern Ausim, who is usually identified as Wadjet’s husband.
Mrs. Edda Grassi, widow of the wealthy Italian industrialist Carlo Grassi, donated the statue to the Gregorian Egyptian Museum in 1951. As resident of Alexandria, Egypt, Carlo Grassi was a prolific collector of Pharonic, Hellenistic, and Roman antiquities.