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Female Head

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

At the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, both men and women of the non-royal elite began to represent themselves wearing very elaborate hairstyles as one indication of their wealth and status. These two statue heads are good examples of the male wig, with two kinds of curls, and the female coiffure, with elaborate braids and a headband. Both styles were very popular at this time.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1336-1185 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late XVIII Dynasty-XIX Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 5 1/2 x 5 x 3 1/2 in. (14 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Female Head, ca. 1336-1185 B.C.E. Limestone, 5 1/2 x 5 x 3 1/2 in. (14 x 12.7 x 8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.268E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.37.268E_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "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 Limestone head of a woman, probably from a group statue showing husband and wife. The wig is in the tripartite style, bound by an unadorned forehead band, worn in the manner of a diadem. The hair is centrally parted, then plaited into many parallel braids. The strands of hair framing the face are not braided, but extremely curly, as though having been crimped. The face is nearly round; the cheeks quite full. The back of the object is flat, as though having earlier been part of a solid background stone. Condition: A few chips on forehead. Right side of nose and chin badly chipped; otherwise, face is generally intact. The proper left side of wig is largely missing below eye-level.
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