Egyptianising Statue of Female


About this object

Fragment of a female figure, wearing the nemes headdress, in the appearance of a pharaoh. She has rounded breasts, and the gesture of the arm bent at right angle and resting on the chest and holding a crooked staff, is more typical of women than men. The pharaonic headdress is symbolic of royal status rather than gender, but it is known to have been worn by the female ruler, Hatshepsut, of the 18th Dynasty.

The statue is missing its lower part and has a rough lower surface. The left elbow, lotus and upper back of the pillar have been broken and reattached. The sculpture would have originally been about one metre tall.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
  • Materials
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
    19th Century early
  • Measurements
    315 mm x 210 mm x 175 mm
  • Note
    Henry Blundell interpreted it as a male because of its pharaonic appearance. The records in the 'Engravings' that the figure was found in a well in the Trastevere district of Rome when the well was emptied to be cleaned. The site is known for other foreign cults as well as a cemetery where other Egyptianised works were found. The setting may have been a house or a garden with an Egyptian theme. It is therefore a Roman interpretation of Egyptian work and this is also supported by some unorthodox details such as the placement of the lotus flower on top of the head and the angled profile of the back pillar. It is also lacking of surface polish in both Egyptian and Egyptianising sculpture from Rome. Blundell identified the work as an idol and attributed to it a religious significance that may not be true. He also associated the work with statues in the Capitoline and Villa Albani but the scale of the statue is much smaller.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

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Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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