The Freud Museum

Figure of Neith

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3134, Figure of Neith, Egyptian Late Period; 715 BC - 332 BC

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Egyptian
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 33 x 7.5 x 10 cm

Bronze statuette of standing Egyptian goddess Neith wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. 

Given to Freud by Sergei Pankejeff, the 'Wolfman', who said it 'symbolized my analysis with Freud who himself called me "a piece of psychoanalysis"'. Neith is seen in the 1914 Max Pollack etch in the far right corner of the desk. In pre-dynastic times Neith was an androgynous creator God. Later she assumed female characteristics and became the mother of Ra the sun god. Freud understood this transformative quality and saw his Neith as both phallic and female and connected to Hathor and Isis, and as a predecessor the Greek warrior goddess Athena. In the 1920s the figure was seen on Anna Freud's desk, perhaps because of her association with weaving (a weaver of the universe, of time and space) as weaving was Anna Freud's favourite craft. However by 1938 in Engelmann's photograph she had returned to Freud's desk.

Additional information from Ro Spankie 'An Anecdoted Topography of Sigmund Freud's Desk', 2014

See this object on our Collections site here

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