Collection online

relief / bowl

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1938,0314.1

  • Description

    Terracotta group of Isis nursing Harpocrates.
    The group shows Isis offering her breast to her son, Harpocrates, who seems uninterested. Isis wears her usual knotted costume, which has been unbuttoned to expose the breast. Her long, corkscrew locks fall on to her shoulders. Harpocrates has a full head of hair and is wrapped in a cloak.
    A hole bored into the upper part of Isis' head is perhaps for a separately made crown, now missing. The fabric is a micaceous orange-brown Nile silt. There are minute traces of a white coating on the front. The back is unworked.

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1stC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 8 centimetres
    • Width: 7.2 centimetres
    • Depth: 3.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Walker & Higgs 2001

    It seems likely that the group was made to be an emblem for a terracotta bowl, rather than being broken from a larger figure in relief. This group follows a series of similar compositions popular during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.

    Bibliography: R.P. Hinks, 'Isis suckling Horus', 'British Museum Quarterly' 12 (1937-8), 74-5, pl. XXVIIb; V. Tan Tam Tinh, 'Isis Lactans' (Leiden, 1973), pl.XXXIV, cat. no.A26, fig. 53; E.A. Arslan (ed), 'Iside, il mito, il mistero, la magica' (Milan, 1997), cat. no. 111.12; S. Walker & P. Higgs [eds.], 'Cleopatra of Egypt' (London, 2001), p. 106 [128].BM Terracotta IV

    This piece is dated by Bailey from the 3rd to the 2nd century BC.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Walker & Higgs 2001 128 bibliographic details
    • Terracotta 3012 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G69/Balcony/dc7/shC

  • Condition

    Intact apart from the loss of a small chip from the lower left side.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1938

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1938,0314.1

Terracotta relief from centre of bowl (?) depicting Isis suckling Harpocrates; brown fabric with traces of mica.

Terracotta relief from centre of bowl (?) depicting Isis suckling Harpocrates; brown fabric with traces of mica.

Image description

Recommend


Feedback

If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: GAA60120

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 

Supporters

Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help  

Loading...