Top part of a black siltstone sculpture of a woman. Formerly part of the De Rustafjaell collection purchased by Sir Henry Wellcome at auction on December 19th-20th 1906, lot 219.
The wig she is wearing has curled out ends and is known as the ‘Hathor wig’ after the goddess Hathor. At this date commoners wore such wigs, but later in Egyptian history they came to be associated exclusively with the goddess and with queens. Hathor was the goddess with the most temples in ancient Egypt.
The style suggests that this is Middle Kingdom.
Bourriau, J. 1988. Pharaohs and Mortals. Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Malek, J., Magee, D. and Miles, E. 1999. Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings, VIII, Objects of Provenance Not Known, Part 1. Royal Statues. Private Statues (Predynastic to Dynasty XVII). Oxford: Griffith Institute.
This item is published in Malek et al (1999, 461, no. 801-445-555).
Russmann, E.R. 2001. Eternal Egypt. Masterworks of Ancient Egyptian Art from the British Museum. London: British Museum P