This face once belonged to a seated statue of an Egyptian queen, perhaps with the king seated beside her. It was broken up in antiquity with only the torso and head of the queen (less than a foot tall) remaining to be found by the Met Museum in the early 20th Century.

She’s wearing the vulture headdress over a large wig. In this photo you can mostly see the wing of the headdress, with just the one braid of the wig framing her face. The vulture’s head has been damaged (along with the queen’s nose, cheek & lips).

The museum dates it on stylistic grounds to the beginning of the New Kingdom, or just before, and very tentatively suggest that it might be Ahmose-Nefertari who was one of the line of formidable queens who oversaw the inauguration of the New Kingdom.

Her husband (and brother) was Ahmose I, the first ruler of the 18th Dynasty, and her son was Amenhotep I. Alongside her son she was deified after her death and they were worshipped in Deir el-Medina as patrons of the village.

Statue of a Queen. Possibly Ahmose-Nefertari, the mother of Amenhotep I. From Asasif, Thebes. New Kingdom, Dynasty 17, c. 1580-1550 BCE. Acc. No.: 16.10.224

It’s now in the Met Museum, acc. no.: 16.10.224.

See it on my photo site:

I’ve written about Ahmose-Nefertari on the blog before:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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