Egyptian bronze oxyrhynchus fish




A bronze figure of an oxyrhynchus fish wearing the Solar Disc crown flanked by a pair of cow’s horns and a Uraeus. There is incised decoration around the gills and dorsal fin, and the eyes are recessed for inlay.

The oxyrhynchus fish was sacred to the goddess Hathor and particularly worshipped at Per-Medjed (modern el-Bahnasa), the capital of the 19th Upper Egyptian nome. The city was called Oxyrhynchos Polis by the Greeks, which means “Town of the sharp-snouted fish”. According to Egyptian mythology, the oxyrhynchus fish ate the phallus of Osiris after the dismemberment of the god by his brother Seth.

Egypt, Late Dynastic to Ptolemaic period, c. 730-30 BC

6 x 9.1 cms

Intact as shown, glued to a perspex display block

Ex. private collection, Nice, Cote d’Azur, France; acquired c. 1950’s – 1970’s and thence by family descent.