Late Period, 664 - 323 BC
Height 19 cm; 22.4 cm in height with the tag.
In a good state of preservation. The left forearm and the upper part of the crown have been refashioned.
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Impressive bronze sculpture of the god Sobek, represented with the body of a man and the head of a crocodile. He stands on a flat rectangular base with the left leg forward in a pose suggesting movement. He is wearing only a short pleated kilt; his torso and legs are bare. The right arm falls stiffly down by his side, while the left is bent at the elbow and is held slightly to the front. Both fists are closed but are perforated, indicating that they were originally holding characteristic symbols of the gods, a “was” sceptre in one hand and a baton of command in the other.
The head is covered by a striped tripartite wig, from which the ears and the face of the reptile stick out. The god is wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, with a uraeus in front of it.
Sobek was known as the Lord of the Waters, god of fertility, vegetation and life. He emerged from the waters of Chaos at the time of the creation of the world. In his malign aspect he is represented as the demon of the Duat, and he is associated with Set. His cult goes back to the earliest Egyptian dynasties. The principal cult was at Shedet, Crocodilopolis (Faiyum), in the Lake Moeris region, and after that in Nubt (Kom Ombo) and Thebes. He was worshipped in Shedet along with Neith and Senuy. In the double temple in Kom Ombo he is worshipped as husband of Hathor or Heket and father of Khonsu.
This piece was made using the lost wax technique, a technique in sculpture where a mould is first made from a prototype traditionally sculpted in beeswax. This is covered by a thick layer of soft material, usually clay, which solidifies. Once this is done it is fired in an oven where the wax melts and comes out of the mould through specially made perforations. Molten metal is then injected into the mould and takes on its exact form. To release the final piece the mould must be removed.
- WILKINSON H. R. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London. 2003.
Private Flemish collection of P. R., Belgium, acquired in 1980.