Gayer Anderson Cat


Members' price *

  • One of the greatest treasures of The British Museum, this highly decorated sacred temple cat dates from c.600 BC and was donated by Major Robert Grenville Gayer- Anderson.

    The domesticated cat is probably associated more with ancient Egypt than any other culture in the world. This cat is a particularly fine example of the many statues of cats from ancient Egypt.

    Cast from a mould of the original, this regal looking cat wears gold earrings and a gold nose ring. Her silver-plated breastplate is decorated with the sacred eye of the god Horus, beneath which is an ornamental scarab and silvered disc.

    Please note this item is made to order, and is handmade by a skilled UK-based sculptor. As such, delivery may take up to 8 weeks.

    More about the cat in Ancient Egypt

    In Ancient Egypt it was believed that most deities were able to take the form of a sacred animal in order to appear on earth. Amun might disguise himself as a goose or a ram, Horus as a falcon. Not all members of a species were considered sacred, only those lucky enough to be chosen to live in a temple as the god's representative were revered. The only animal which the Egyptians seem to have held in total respect whether it was a pet or kept in a temple was the cat.

    All Egyptian cats were descended from the wild Libyan desert cat with long legs, sharply pointed ears and brindled fur which is often depicted in Book of the Dead papyrus vignettes cutting up the evil serpent Apophis. The Greek historian Herodotus reported that in his time (about 450 BC) when a house caught fire the first thing to be saved was the house cat and that whole families went into mourning when their pet died. Small but elaborate coffins were made especially for the mummified remains of a favourite pet.

  • Product code: cmcr90740
    Exhibition: Ancient lives
    World culture: Ancient Egypt
    Materials: Hand-patinated acrylic resin
    Details: Handmade, delivery may take up to 8 weeks
    Size: 33 x 13 x 26cm with 14ct gold and silver-plated details
    Weight: 4.9kg
    Standard UK delivery: 5 working days. Overseas times may vary

    This price is inclusive of VAT
    Every purchase supports the Museum
  • Delivery charges: are calculated depending on the weight (kg) and destination of the order. The order total is displayed on the payment page before you confirm your order.

    Estimated Delivery times:
    UK and Europe: 5 - 10 working days.
    Rest of the world: 10 to 28 working days.

    Premium delivery: is available at the checkout for UK addresses only.

    For more information, please see our full Delivery policy here

    If for any reason you are not entirely happy with books and other products purchased from the shop, we will refund the value of the goods supplied. Please contact Customer Services directly on 0800 218 2222 (or from abroad on +44 (0)20 7079 0970) for individual advice.

    Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges on pierced earrings for hygiene reasons, unless they are faulty.

    For more information, please see our full Returns policy here

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We offer gift-wrapping on all our items. Scarves and jewellery are placed in pillow packs or universal jewellery boxes. You can add your own personal message whenever you send anything as a gift.

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