Painted limestone statue of Nynofretmin

From Egypt
4th Dynasty, around 2500 BC

A 'royal acquaintance'

Egyptian statues of the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC) were intended for the tomb, and were often carved out of rocky features in the landscape. They provided a place for the spirit, or ka, of the deceased person to reside, should the body be destroyed.

This statue shows the owner, the lady Nynofretmin, seated on a cube-shaped seat with a high back. An inscription giving her name and titles is carved on the side of the seat. The title of 'royal acquaintance' suggests that she had some contact with the king. The inscription was vital for the deceased's ka to be able to identify the owner of the statue.

Several elements of the statue follow the artistic tradition of the period. The figure's large feet, short neck and heavy features are typical of statues of the Old Kingdom; on the face, there are traces of the yellowish-brown skin colour traditionally used for female figures. Her clothes and wig, on the other hand, show the fashion current at the time of her death. The heavy braided wig, with a central parting and the tightly fitting white sheath dress were popular in the Fourth Dynasty (about 2613-2494 BC).

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More information


J. Putnam, Egyptology: an introduction to (London, Apple, 1990)

J. Malek and W. Forman, In the shadow of the pyramids: (London, Orbis, 1986)


Height: 45.500 cm

Museum number

EA 65430


Formerly part of the Northumberland Collection


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