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Head of a King

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Granite is extremely hard, but the sculptor of this statue was able to give the king’s plump face and small features a softly natural quality, perhaps suggesting the subject’s actual appearance rather than an idealized version. Originally, this fragment surmounted an oversize figure, achieving the same monumental quality as the pyramids being built at this time.
MEDIUM Granite
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2650–2600 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 3 to early Dynasty 4
    PERIOD Early Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 22 × 11 × 13 in. (55.9 × 27.9 × 33 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1921, provenance not yet documented; before 1921, acquired by Louis Herse of Alexandria, Egypt; 1921, purchased in Paris, France from Louis Herse by Theodore Pitcairn of Bryn Athyn, PA; October 10, 1946, purchased from Theodore Pitcairn by the Brummer Gallery, New York, NY; October 24, 1946, purchased from the Brummer Gallery (N6669) by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Colossal red granite head of a king in white crown. Broad features, eyes without paint stripes, no uraeus on crown, no beard. At the back of the neck a line indicating the top of a cloak which suggests that the head may be from a Heb-sed statue. Condition: The tip of the crown is missing; also the end of the nose. Small chips from the right eye an upper lip; right ear weathered; minor weathering and chipping elsewhere on the surface but on the whole the preserved potion is in good condition. The break at the neck is irregular.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Head of a King, ca. 2650–2600 B.C.E. Granite, 22 × 11 × 13 in. (55.9 × 27.9 × 33 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 46.167. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.167_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 46.167_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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