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Sculptor's Trial Piece of Nefertiti

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Tell el-Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352-1332 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 × 2 3/16 × 9 in. (10.2 × 5.6 × 22.8 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Sculptor's Trial Piece of Nefertiti, ca. 1352-1332 B.C.E. Limestone, 4 × 2 3/16 × 9 in. (10.2 × 5.6 × 22.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society, 35.1997. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , CUR.35.1997_NegA_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.35.1997_NegA_print_bw.jpg., 2016
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Oblong limestone block apparently a sculptor’s study piece. On one side is a head of Nerfertiti, in sunk relief, wearing a high crown. There is no uraeus. The workmanship is good and the piece is typical of its period. On the back side are three figures, to the left is a feather sign, in the center is the trace of a skirt and a right foot, the latter unfinished. At the extreme right is the hieroglyph for “T”. Condition: The face of the head of the queen is in practically perfect condition. The head is cut off about halfway up the crown which is apparently as it was originally made. The back of the piece is considerably chipped, a part of the feather sign and shirt are missing. The fracture suggests the sculptor deliberately eradicated these details.
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