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Portrait head of a late Ptolemaic ruler (Ptolemy IX?)

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The three times life-sized head, found at Memphis in what appears to have been a temple or shrine of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, was carved in Greek marble, with hair, the tip of the nose, and beard finished in stucco. Reddish ground color remains in the pupils of the eyes and on the...

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By date unknown: in a private collection in Cairo where it was seen by Bernard Bothmer in 1955; by November 1958: with Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Malzgasse 25, Basel, Switzerland (Münzen und Medaillen A.G. auction 18, Kunsthalle, Steinenberg 7, Basel, November 29, 1958, lot 14: said to come from Memphis in Egypt); purchased by MFA from Münzen und Medaillen A.G., February 12, 1959, for $ 3,390.00

Credit Line

Edwin L. Jack Fund

Greek, Ptolemaic, Hellenistic Period, Late 2nd–early 1st century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 131; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 110 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 171.


Overall: 64 x 28 x 26 cm (25 3/16 x 11 x 10 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, probably from Paros, with added stucco


The Ancient World