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Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Bust of a Ptolemaic ruler

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This nearly life-size piece is identifiable as a king by the nemes head cloth and the uraeus snake at his brow. Probably a Double Crown, representing Upper and Lower Egypt was once inserted in the depression at the top of the head. The king's oval face, sharp features and slight smile imitate...

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1968, acquired in London by Virgilio Vecchi [see note 1]; 1986, by descent from Virgilio Vecchi to Italo Vecchi, London; 2007, sold by Italo Vecchi, through Rupert Wace Ancient Art Ltd., London, to the MFA (Accession date: March 21, 2007) NOTES: [1] The bust was acquired from a collection said to have been formed in the 19th century.

Credit Line

John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund

Egyptian, Hellenistic Period (Ptolemaic Dynasty), 2nd–1st century B.C.


Height x width x depth: 40.6 x 31.8 x 24.1 cm (16 x 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.) Brass mount: 20.3 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm (8 x 8 x 8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World