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Details & Cataloguing

Ancient Marbles: Classical Sculpture and Works of Art

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A Marble Head of a Woman, Queen, or Goddess, Egypt, Late Hellenistic, circa 1st Century B.C.
from a monumental figure, turned to her right, with long neck, idealized oval face with bow-shaped lips, and slightly upturned nose merging into finely arched brows, her wavy hair parted in the center and surmounted by a diadem, the back carved flat, with two dowel holes, and a channel for a marble clamp at neck-level; no restorations.
Total height 48.3 cm. 19 in.; height of face 19 cm. 7 1/2 in.
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Provenance

Laura Williamina Hohenlohe-Langenburg-Gleichen, Countess von Gleichen, born Seymour (1833-1912), England, acquired in Egypt
American private collection, after 1912
Jonas Senter (1917-2001), New York, acquired at auction in the 1970s
the Estate of Jonas Senter (Sotheby’s, New York, December 9th, 2003, no. 11, illus.)
acquired by the present owner at the above sale

Literature

André Boulanger, "Tête féminine provenant d’Égypte," Revue archéologique, vol. 19, 1912, pp. 110ff., figs. 1-3 (photos sent to the author by Salomon Reinach)
Georg Lippold, ed., Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Skulpturen, nos. 5047–5048, illus.

Catalogue Note

The flat back suggests that the head was carved for insertion into a veiled statue, as exemplified in an over-lifesize honorific statue from Magnesia ad Maeandrum (D. Pinkwart, Antike Plastik, vol. 12, 1973, p. 149f., no. 1, pls. 49ff.); the face and neck were carved separately and inserted into a statue with the mantle draped as a veil over the head. The present head also shows stylistic similarities to the head of this statue (dedicated circa 62 B.C.), and may therefore be dated in the same period. It could have been a highly idealized portrait; cf. a head of similar size and technique from Kalydon, interpreted as the head of a honorific statue: P. Bol, Antike Plastik, vol. 19, 1988, p. 42, pl. 33.

Ancient Marbles: Classical Sculpture and Works of Art

|
London