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Mosaic, tragic mask of a queen, possibly Queen Dido of Carthage

Roman, circa 1st-2nd century A.D. in an 18th century mount

11.5 x 9 inches {mosaic dimensions}

Provenance: Hon. James Smith Barry {1816-1856}, Marbury Hall

by descent

Published: Catalogue of the Art Treasures at Manchester, 1857, item 23a





Relief plaque/trial piece showing a Queen or the Goddess Isis wearing a Vulture headress

Ptolemaic Period circa 305 - 30 B.C.


5 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches {irregular}

Provenance: Early British collection

See another similar relief with the more fleshy treatment of the nose and mouth, Bas relief portrait of Cleopatra in The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

The vulture headress became an attribute of royal women in the Old Kingdom, originally linking the queen with Nekhbet, the tutelary goddess of Upper Egypt, although it came to be associated with other goddesses. When worn by royal women, the headress was likely intended to underscore the divinity of the queenship. Though princesses holding religious office and noblewomen were portrayed in the vulture cap during the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period, its use was again limited to queens and goddesses in the Ptolemaic era.