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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 Pottery, painted
  • Possible Place Collected: Thebes (Deir el Medineh), Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539-1190 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty-XIX Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 6 5/16 x 3 x 2 5/16 in. (16 x 7.6 x 5.8 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 61.49
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Female Ancestral Bust, ca. 1539-1190 B.C.E. Pottery, painted, 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
    IMAGE overall, 61.49_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
    "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 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 rebuilt in plaster. Body cracked on right side.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (92%)
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