Skip Navigation

Plaque of a Queen or Goddess (perhaps Cleopatra IV)

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Many deities in the official Egyptian pantheon can be recognized by their headdresses. The Double Crown of the beneficent goddess Mut, whose name means “mother,” characterizes her as a conveyor of kingship and the divine mother of pharaoh. Amun, whose name means “hidden,” is portrayed as a man wearing a tall, plumed crown. When he appears with a solar disk at the base of the crown, he is known as Amun-Re, who possesses both hidden and solar creative powers. When shown in tightly enveloping garb and with an erection, he may be called Amun-Re-Kamutef, associated with fertility and regeneration. An amulet in this virile attitude would have held the promise of eternal rebirth after death. Monthly rebirth is also invoked by the full and crescent moons of Khonsu, the divine heir of Amun and Mut.

In popular religion the protection of pregnancy and birth was entrusted to such deities as Taweret and Bes. The appearance of Taweret, “The Great One,” as a pregnant hippopotamus with lion and crocodile features is a dramatic symbol of protective motherhood. The dwarf with a lion’s face and legs likely represents Bes, who was worshipped in the home as a protector of motherhood, birth, and rebirth.
CULTURE Egyptian
MEDIUM Gold-plated repousse silver
DATES 305–30 B.C.E.
PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
DIMENSIONS 15 3/4 × 9 × 1 in. (40 × 22.9 × 2.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Gold plate repousse silver panel showing a queen or goddess in a feather garment and a feather headdress and wearing an engraved broad collar. Probably part of an incrustation for a shrine or other piece of furniture. Condition: In the space between the left arm and the body is a small hole for attachment to a probably wooden ground.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Egyptian. Plaque of a Queen or Goddess (perhaps Cleopatra IV), 305–30 B.C.E. Gold-plated repousse silver, 15 3/4 × 9 × 1 in. (40 × 22.9 × 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 44.120. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 44.120_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 44.120_SL1.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.
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.