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Female Ancestral Bust

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Ancestral busts were kept in the home, perhaps used in rituals that helped maintain the deceased in the afterlife or allowed the living and dead to communicate. Both of these busts were made about the same time and demonstrate how even a cheaper pottery example could be exquisitely made and decorated, though clearly a painted limestone bust would have been more expensive to commission.
MEDIUM Clay, pigment
  • Possible Place Collected: Thebes (Deir el Medina), Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539–1190 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18 to Dynasty 19
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 6 5/16 x 3 x 2 5/16 in. (16 x 7.6 x 5.8 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pottery “ancestral bust” of a woman. Red slip, black wig, with braid at back. Necklace in black of single cord with lotus flowers, leaves and buds suspended on front; details of face moulded and painted, open base. Condition: Poor. Head broken off and reset, part of wig lost, lower part of body lost and restored. Body cracked on right side.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Female Ancestral Bust, ca. 1539–1190 B.C.E. Clay, pigment, 6 5/16 x 3 x 2 5/16 in. (16 x 7.6 x 5.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 61.49. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 61.49_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 61.49_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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