- Museum number
Bronze figure of divine consort or queen: the woman, who stands with her left leg slightly advanced, wears a traditional tight-fitting dress, the skirt of which is inlaid in a pattern that may represent a beaded overskirt. The hem, the waistband, and the two straps of the bodice are inlaid with linear patterns. A small necklace is indicated, but most of the space between the straps is filled with a figure of Osiris inlaid in gold, facing right, and wearing an 'atef' crown. The woman's long wig is studded with tiny strips of metal, which represent little gold or silver rings, threaded on the tresses. On her wig is a cap in the form of a vulture with wings outspread beside her face. The bird's head, which may have been replaced by a uraeus, is broken off. Also lost are the tall headdress, which fitted over the post on the top of the head; the arms, which had been made separately; and the feet, with the base to which they were attached. Perhaps the worst damage of all is that inflicted on the face, which has lost not only its inlaid eyes but almost all details of the features. It is likely that the face was covered with sheet gold, which was roughly pried off for the value of the metal. This figure has a high, narrow waist, from which a long continuous line joins the hips to the low-slung curve of the thighs. Her face is round and broad.
Height: 24 centimetres
Weight: 1.30 kilograms
Width: 6 centimetres
Depth: 6 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- In ancient Egypt, the vulture cap, as worn by this figure, was almost exclusively the prerogative of queens. Thus this woman was royal, but a more precise identification hinges on her date. Given the timelessness of her costume and the lack of a name or other inscriptions, the figure can only be dated only on the basis of its style, which is fortunately quite distinctive.
'Illustrated London News', 18 Nov. 1950, p. 827, figs. 3-4;
B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' VIII (Oxford: Clarendon Press), p. 705;
W. Seipel, 'Gott. Mensch. Pharao' [exhibition catalogue] (Vienna, 1992), pp. 234-235 ;
'Temples and Tombs' [exhibition catalogue] (American Federation of Arts, 2006); 105, cat no. 63;
S. Quirke and J. Spencer, 'British Museum Book of Ancient Egypt', (London, 1992), p. 73, fig. 53.
Roeder, Bronzefiguren, p. 316, fig. 407.
Shaw & Nicholson, British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, p. 238.
E. R. Russman, Eternal Egypt, 217-218.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2006 7 Sept-26 Nov, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
2006 21 Dec-2007 18 Mar, Jackonsville, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Temples & Tombs
2007 15 Apr-8 Jul, Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
2007 16 Nov-2008 10 Feb, New Mexico, Albuquerque Museum, Temples & Tombs
2011 Jul–Sept, Newcastle, Great North Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Oct–Jan, Dorchester, Dorset County Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Feb–June, Leeds City Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Jul-Oct, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2012 Nov– Feb 2013, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2013 Mar–Aug, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2018 7 Jun-16 Sep, Barcelona, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2018-2019 16 Oct-20 Jan, Madrid, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2019 19 Feb-25 Aug, Girona, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2019-2020 24 Sept-12 Jan, Seville, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
- incomplete - arms lost
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number