Results 1 115
1 Previous Next

Aegis with the Head of Sekhmet
Additional Views Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Aegis with the Head of Sekhmet

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The collars worn by both Egyptian men and women were composed of two main parts: in front, a broad collar (called "wesekh") decorated with floral elements, and a v-shaped counterpoise (called "menat") falling behind the neck to balance the weight of the collar. Such a combination was not only used as decoration but also as a ritual instrument by holding the "menat" in the hand and rattling the beads of the collar.

The three-dimensional depiction of "wesekh" and "menat" combined with a divine head became an important symbol. The head of a feline goddess atop this model collar indicates that it is intended as a personification of her powers, conveying in its decoration the ability of the lioness both to protect and to nourish the king. Her dual nature is evoked by her stern and watchful face on the front side, and by her representation as a mother suckling a young prince on the reverse. This precious object may have been produced for someone of the royal family.


The aegis is made from hammered gold sheet. The edges of the gold sheet are cut using a chisel. The head and disk are raised and the halves soldered together. The head is filled with a bulked unidentified resin. The resin is yellow in color. The bulking agent is probably calcite.

Date Description Narrative
7/10/1979Examinationexamined for condition
2/23/2012ExaminationExamined for loan
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Mistress of House Mistress of Heaven: Women in Ancient Egypt. Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn. 1996-1997.
  • Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
  • Chefs-d'oeuvre des derniers pharaons. Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris. 2012.
  • Egypt’s Mysterious Book of the Faiyum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2013-2014.
  • Die Entstehung der Welt. Ägyptens letzter Schöpfungsmythos (The Origin of the World. Egypt’s Last Creation Myth). Roemer- und Pelizaeus- Museum, Hildesheim; Kunsthalle Leoben, Leoben. 2014-2015.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1924, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1924

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

ca. 945-715 BCE (Third Intermediate Period, 22nd-23rd Dynasty)
Accession Number
H: 2 11/16 x W: 2 9/16 x D: 2 11/16 in. (6.8 x 6.6 x 6.8 cm)
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)


    Thumbnail: Aegis with the Head of Sekhmet Thumbnail: Aegis with the Head of Sekhmet Thumbnail: Aegis with the Head of Sekhmet
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Aegis with the Head of Sekhmet