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Home > Auctions > 24th May 2022 > Egyptian Basalt Head of a Woman

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LOT 0015

GBP (£) 20,000 - 30,000
EUR (€) 23,330 - 34,990
USD ($) 24,980 - 37,470

£20,000 (EUR 23,326; USD 24,983) (+bp*)

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A fragment of a finely-carved basalt head of a young woman in three-quarter view, with boldly rendered wavy hair covering her ears, large and heavily-lidded lunette-shaped eyes, sharply defined eyebrow line, slender nose and slightly parted full lips, rounded chin and full cheeks,
her neck with at least one Venus line; the top of the head appears to have been deliberately flattened, perhaps to accommodate a separately carved element; the flattened back of the head suggests that it was an element from a frieze, possibly from a figurative scene on a sarcophagus or altar, a short metal pin to the back; accompanied by a custom-made display stand. 2 7/8 in. (3 1/2 in.) (104 grams, 74 mm high (178 grams total, 90 mm high including stand)). Fine condition.

Lord McAlpine collection(?), based on the familiar but mostly illegible [ ...85] accession label to verso.
Acquired 1990s.
Private collection J.K. (a specialist in modern art), London, UK.
Accompanied by an academic report by Egyptologist Paul Whelan.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11174-188106.

See Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 792, for similar treatment of eyes, brows, lips and chin.

The flattened top of the head was possibly meant to accommodate a separately carved element. In this respect, one is reminded of statues of the goddess Tyche-Fortuna, whose wavy hair (usually shown covering the ears) is surmounted by a turreted crown symbolising security. It is conceivable that the basalt head represents this goddess and once accommodated a separately carved crown.