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Head of a Nobleman

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

These two heads from ka-statues (the tomb statue that received food and drink offerings) demonstrate the different properties of granite and limestone. Granite is harder than limestone, so it takes a higher polish and allows the artist to carve finer detail. Though both statues gave the deceased’s ka a place to receive offerings, the granite would have been the more desirable statue.
MEDIUM Granite
  • Possible Place Made: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2650–2600 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 3 to early Dynasty 4
    PERIOD Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 8 1/2 x 9 x 6 in. (21.6 x 22.9 x 15.2 cm) mount ((m1 dimensions as installed)): 8 1/2 × 9 × 6 in., 15 lb. (21.6 × 22.9 × 15.2 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Reportedly from Saqqara, Egypt; prior to 1965, provenance not yet documented; by April 30, 1965, acquired in Cairo, Egypt by Johann Möger of Soestdijk, the Netherlands; January 11, 1967, purchased from Johann Möger by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Red granite head and part of right shoulder of male statue with short echeloned wig; practically neckless. Nose damaged; full face; sharp eyebrows; upper eyelid rim plastic. No trace of back pillar although upper portion of back is preserved below wig. Condition: Good, except that nose is partly lost, and mouth is slightly chipped. Top of head is worn.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Head of a Nobleman, ca. 2650–2600 B.C.E. Granite, 8 1/2 x 9 x 6 in. (21.6 x 22.9 x 15.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 67.5.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 67.5.1_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 67.5.1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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