But, first a little bit about it which may be of interest to 'pure Egyptologists' (if such people exist).
It is accessioned as W496. It measures 18.5cm and is made from glazed steatite. I presume it was orginally seated on a throne or chair, it has its hands by its sides and the mane suggests the figure depicts a lioness rather than cat. It has breasts so I'm assuming it is female.
It's a bit like the faience figure on the right which is in the Kunsthistorishe Museum and dates to 724-332BC (Late Period). The flat jaw is similar. Or the one on this link, from the same museum, again Late Period. There is a glazed steatite example here (I'm afraid I don't have the actual book where it is published but the web says: 'Published: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World, 2007, no. 204').
Presumably items like this were votive offerings.
We don't know where this object was found, or who excavated it. But, we do know how Henry Wellcome came by it. As is shown by the 'Wellcome slip' or 'flimsy card' (a cataloguing tool used by Wellcome's cataloguers sent out to museums when Wellcome's collection was dispersed) we have in the Centre, Wellcome gave it the number L.79347. It is further stated on the slip that Wellcome bought it from the 'Theosophical Society (H.W. Watson), 1 Bloomsbury Street, WC1 Case No,. 7117.'
This object was owned by the Theosophical Society[i], founded by the Russian lady Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) in 1875. Her teaching synthesized many ancient and modern religious beliefs including those of ancient Egypt[ii]. It is not clear how the artefact was used, but it seems that the members of the Theosophical Society considered the lion as important, as a sign of the zodiac, as a symbol of one of the four elements and as a solar eye. In Blavatsky 1886 the lion is frequently cited as a zodiacal sign, or as a symbol of the elements.
The Evangelical zoolatry -- the Bull, the Eagle, the Lion, and the Angel (in reality the Cherub, or Seraph, the fiery-winged Serpent), is as much pagan as that of the Egyptians or the Chaldeans. These four animals are, in reality, the symbols of the four elements, and of the four lower principles in man. (Blavatsky, 1886, I. 363 see also II, 114)
"Oh Toum, Toum! issued from the great (female) which is in the bosom of the waters"
(the great Deep or Space) . . . "Thou, luminous through the two Lions" (the dual Force or
power of the two solar eyes, or the electro-positive and the electro-negative forces. (See
Book of the Dead, III., and Egyptian Pantheon, chapter ii.) (Blavatsky I 673, footnote).
But is it really Sekhmet? Might it be Mut? Does it matter, did it ever matter? The Egyptians mixed and matched goddesses. Though usually lioness goddesses are labelled as Sekhmet. Maybe this is due to romanticism? Even today, Sekhmet as opposed to other lioness goddesses, seems to be considered the epitome of Egyptian aggressive female deities and possibly thus romaniticised[iii].
When the object came to Swansea it was considered important enough to be catalogued by the then honourary curator Kate Bosse-Griffiths. She didn't catalogue all the objects, but rather selected those which appeared 'important'. She also put it on display as can be seen here:
And, it has an entry in the guidebook. According to the Guide Book written by Kate Bosse Griffiths (Egypt Centre archive A1, 8) which accompanied this exhibit. This object was within a display of ‘small sculptures’ of various materials: In this display there are examples of various techniques resulting in sculptures in the round and in relief by chiseling stone, casting bronze and moulding glass and Egyptian fayence.