Exhibitions: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity

Statuette of Queen Ankhnes-meryre II and Her Son, Pepy II

Pepy, who became king at about the age of six, had one of the longest reigns in world history. During his childhood his mother, Queen Ankhnes-meryre II, acted as his regent, and she appears to be the primary subject of this statue. Over her striated wig she wears the queenly headdress of a vulture with outspread wings; the bird's head was made separately in metal or stone and inserted in the hole at the front. Pepy's small size indicates his extreme youth, but his costume, including the nemes headdress with a uraeus cobra, is that of a full-fledged king. He sits facing toward his mother's right, almost as if he were a separate statue; but in a most unusual gesture, he acknowledges their relationship by placing his right hand on hers.