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A Goddess Amongst Us

Amid the twinkling Christmas lights of Bond Street, you can find this seemingly unassuming statue above the doorway to Sotheby's, London's oldest auction house, established in 1744

If you look carefully, you will see it is a figure with the bust of a woman and the head of a lioness - this is Sekhmet, Egyptian warrior goddess and goddess of healing, and this piece dates from 1320BCE, making it the oldest privately-owned outdoor statue in London.

It is said that it was sold at auction in the late 19th c for £40, but the buyer never collected it and it subsequently became the mascot for Sotheby's. It was placed above the entrance when Sotheby's moved to their current Bond Street premises in 1917.

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