Skip Navigation

Trial Piece with Two Heads

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Excavators of Amarna uncovered several sculptors’ studios containing large numbers of unfinished sculptures and reliefs. Among these were fine models carved by master sculptors as well as trial pieces by younger artisans. The block displayed here is a sculptor’s study, showing two male heads and a clenched fist, in varying degrees of completion.

This relief was discovered by Flinders Petrie at Amarna and subsequently belonged to Lord Amherst, who sponsored Petrie’s excavations.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Excavated: Tell el-Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 3/8 × 9 5/16 × 2 1/2 in. (23.8 × 23.6 × 6.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Sculptor’s school, Tell el Amarna, Egypt; 1891-92, excavated by W. M. Flinders Petrie; circa 1892, transferred from W. M. Flinders Petrie to William Thyssen-Amherst of London, United Kingdom; June 13-17, 1921, purchased at Sotheby’s London, “The Amherst Collection of Egyptian and Oriental Antiquities”, lot 848, by Kalebdjian Frères of Cairo, Egypt and Paris, France; until at least 1928, collection of Kalebdjian Frères; between 1928 and 1933, provenance not yet documented; before 1933, acquired by Spink and Son, London, United Kingdom; 1933, purchased from Spink and Son by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone trial piece. On one large face, two incomplete incised male heads with wigs, the latter undecorated. Above the left hand, a clenched hand, profile view. The heads are more or less unfinished. The stone is wedge-shaped, tapering towards top. Condition: Good. Lower right corner missing. Scattered chips.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Trial Piece with Two Heads, ca. 1352–1336 B.C.E. Limestone, 9 3/8 × 9 5/16 × 2 1/2 in. (23.8 × 23.6 × 6.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 33.61. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 33.61.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 33.61.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.