Description & Technical information

Possibly a portrait study of Ptolemy II (Philadelphus), the left profile is depicted with elongated almond shaped eyes below arched eyebrows, the mouth curves upwards in a gentle smile. A line extending across the forehead and down the temple representing a headdress or wig.

The purpose of these types of sculptures has long been argued, with suggestions of them being either sculptors' models or votive plaques, or even both. This piece has clearly been intentionally crafted as a fragment and current thinking suggests it to be either an ex-voto to the cult of a king or a commemorative monument in a private shrine devoted to a ruler.


Period:  Antiquity
Origin:  Egypt
Medium: Stucco
Dimensions: 25.4 x 18.4 x 6 cm (10 x 7¹/₄ x 2³/₈ inches)
Provenance: Collection of Michel E. Abemayor, New York; Sold Sotheby's, New York, December 11th, 1976, lot 295; Private collection, USA acquired at the 1976 auction
Literature: Published: Sotheby's, New York, December 11th, 1976, lot 295 (illus.) and 'Cleopatra's Egypt. Age of the Ptolemies', Brooklyn, 1988, p.129, cat. 34.
Exhibitions: Exhibited: Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, 1998 to 2017
Categories: Classical & Egyptian antiquities