The Curious and Macabre Mummified Skeletons of a Cat and Two Hounds
The Curious and Macabre Mummified Skeletons of a Cat and Two Hounds
The Curious and Macabre Mummified Skeletons of a Cat and Two Hounds

The Curious and Macabre Mummified Skeletons of a Cat and Two Hounds

1500 to 1700 England

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The Curious and Macabre Mummified Skeletons of a Cat and Two Hounds
Now housed in shadow boxes
16th Century

Size : 43 cm high, 58.5 cm wide, 16 cm deep – 17 ins high, 23 ins wide, 6¼ ins deep
please contact for further iamges ( dogs )
Provenance ; Found during renovations behind a wattle and daub dividing wall in an English country cottage during demolition approximately 20 years ago
In Brittany an old proverb referring to a cat states : 'By virtue of my sufferings, I bring happiness'.
Held sacred and venerated by the Ancient Egyptians, cats by virtue of the special love the God's bore to them were oft chosen victims. In 1690, one of the exhibits in the famous collection of curiosities on view in Don Saltero's coffee house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, was a starved and shrivelled corpse of a cat that had been found between the walls of Westminster Abbey when the east end was being rebuilt. The cat had been walled in alive as sacrifice on the occasion of the commencement of the building of the Christian abbey. This practice was a result of identifying the cat with the ancient sun God Horus who daily died for his people, and in turn connecting Christ with the Pagan God Horus.
Other beliefs in the divine and supernatural nature of the cat have led to their sacrifice.
When miners are working underground the word 'cat' is banned , and in Cornwall work stopped if a cat entered a tin mine. It had to be killed before the miners would return to their labours. However, to sailors it was thought lucky to have a ship's cat on board, especially if it was black without a single white hair.
Dogs too suffered the fate of sacrifice. It is reported that Laplanders sacrificed 'dogs, cats, hens and chickens to their Norse God's'. Dogs were frequently connected with witches being often mentioned in the transcripts of old 17th century witchcraft trials as canine familiars. The 'wish hounds' were feared by early Britons as they raced across the night sky in search of un-baptised souls, and there was a widespread belief in supernatural hounds known variously in different parts of Britain as the Barquest, Black Shuck, Padfoot or Striker.

Dimensions
Height 43.00 cm (16.93 inches)
Width 58.50 cm (23.03 inches)
Depth 16.00 cm (6.30 inches)
Medium
wood , glass , cat & dog
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