- Museum number
Naked female figurine of limestone, with arms held beside the body. The head, feet, and part of the arms are missing. The figurine wears only a collar (indicated in relief), with extra jewellery and decoration added in red paint. 'A deep collar is worn around the neck in front, balanced (Egyptian fashion) by a counterpoise behind; the collar is made in relief with plaster pendants, gilt and coloured red ; the counterpoise is painted with red. Around the waist is a girdle, with a sacred eye at the back, tying in front, and with the ends descending one in front of each thigh, and finishing in lotus-flowers. The fingers have rings painted on them. The nails are most delicately wrought. The attitude is Egyptian, the legs being close side by side, and the arms placed down the sides, with the hands touching the thighs. The fullness of the bust marks the work as of the Ptolemaic time, and the style is the best of that period.' (Petrie 1886, 33)
- Production date
- 4thC BC(late)- 1stC BC(early)
Height: 13.10 centimetres (max)
Thickness: 3.20 centimetres (max)
Width: 5.10 centimetres (max)
- Curator's comments
- Naturalistic limestone figures of nude female. Rare at Naukratis, with both high quality (British Museum 1886,0401.1394) and poor quality examples (Oxford AN1896-1908-G.1036, Amsterdam, Allard Pierson Museum 7936) and another piece attributed to Naukratis (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum E.SU.147). One exceptional example was found in a ‘Ptolemaic’ context in the casemate structure of the Great Temenos (Petrie 1886, 33; British Museum EA1886,0401.1394), though also dated to the Saite period (Edwards 1885, 278). The style, though fine and naturalistic, does have exaggerated long fingers and round breasts, not distinctive of the early Ptolemaic Period material produced in contemporary terracotta figures. Like the terracotta versions, this may represent a later (Ptolemaic) three dimensional variant that evolved from (Late Period) flat votive plaques. Parallels from Memphis (Thomas & Nicholson 2013, 62, P-68), Saqqâra (Martin 1981, no.406) and Tell el Barud (Petrie Museum UC60120) are of 4th and 3rd century BC date.
Martin, G. T. 1981. The sacred animal necropolis at North Saqqâra, the southern dependencies of the main temple complex. Egypt Exploration Society, Excavation Memoirs 50.
Thomas, R. I. & Nicholson, P. T. 2013. Figurines in Nicholson, P. T. (ed.) Working in Memphis: The production of faience at Roman period Kom Helul. London: Egypt Exploration Society: 41-74.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2016, 19 May-27 Nov, BM exhibition Sunken Treasures
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number