Portrait of Queen Tiye

This small portrait of Queen Tiye (22.5cm with feathered sun disc crown) was probably produced in the last years of her husband Amenhotep III’s reign because the queen is shown at an advanced age.

The original nemes (revealed with C.T scanning) was of silver with a gold uraeus but was covered with several layers of linen which were decorated with small faïence beads creating a ’round crown’ appearance as we see now. Only a few of the blue beads remain at the back, still visible today.

Head of Queen Tiye
Head of Queen Tiye
C.T. scan of the head revealed the original white nemes underneath.
C.T. scan of the head revealed the original white nemes underneath.

The crown consisting of a sun disc, cow horns and a pair of feathers was added separately, making the entire piece measure at 22.5 cm.

By adding this double feathered sun disc crown to the statue, Akhenaten raised his mother, already in her lifetime, into the realm of a goddess. The crown was rediscovered in the Berlin collection after having been separated from the head for many years.

Portrait of Queen Tiye
Materials: Yew wood, silver, gold and faience inlays
From Medinet el Gurob
Total height 22,5 cm
Inv.-No. ÄM 21834, ÄM 17852
Photograph by Sandra Steiß

Queen Tiye was the spouse of King Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten. After the death of Amenhotep III and still in the lifetime of Tiye the head was reworked.

This type of crown in the portrait of Tiye is usually worn by goddesses or deified queens. By adding this crown to the statue, Akhenaten raised his mother, already in her lifetime, into the realm of a goddess. The crown was rediscovered in the Berlin collection after having been separated from the head for many years.

The crown consisting of a sundisc, cow horns and a pair of feathers was added separately, making the entire piece measure at 22.5 cm.
The crown consisting of a sundisc, cow horns and a pair of feathers was added separately, making the entire piece measure at 22.5 cm.
Photograph by Oliver Lang
Head of Queen Tiye
Head of Queen Tiye

Summary:
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, c. 1391-1353 B.C.
From Medinet el-Gurob.
Now in the Neues Museum, Berlin. ÄM 21834, ÄM 17852

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