Some Egyptian deities had animals associated with them and some were depicted as having animal characteristics. The Falcon of Horus wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt is an image of divine kingship. The king was associated with the sky god as the “Living Horus,” and he was thought to represent the rule of the gods on earth. Statues such as this were sometimes used as containers for the preserved remains of the animal or bird they represented. This example is hollow and has an opening under the tail through which a mummified falcon could have been inserted.
Artist Egyptian
  • Falcon of Horus
Date between 663 and 525 BCE
Medium bronze
Dimensions Overall: 16 1/4 × 13 1/2 × 6 3/4 inches (41.3 × 34.3 × 17.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Sarah Bacon Hill Fund
Accession Number 59.119
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
On View Egyptian: Kingly Qualities, Level 1 (see map)
Maurice Nahman;
S. Bing;
(Fahim Joseph Kouchakji, New York, New York, USA);
1959-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Ancienne Collection Mutiaux. Sales cat., Sixiem Vente, Hotel Drouot. Paris, May 9, 1952, no. 33.

Art Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 3 (1956): p. 331 (ill.) [advertisement].

The Institute Collects. DIA. Detroit, December 8, 1964-January 3, 1965, p. 15.

Connoisseur, vol. 175 (December 1970): p. 273 (ill.).

"Family Art Game," Detroit Free Press (April 26, 1981): p. 25 (ill.). [DIA Advertising Supplement].

Houlihan, P. F. The Birds of Ancient Egypt. Warminster, England: Aris and Phillips, 1986, p. 49, (fig 65).

Henshaw, Julia P., ed. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 108 (ill.).

Roberts, Alison. Hathor Rising: The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt. Rochester, Vermont, 1997, pl. 116, p. 109.