Head of a Figure Wearing Garland, 300 BCE-300 CE
Hellenistic or Roman
Egypt, Memphis
2 ¼ × 2 × 1 5/8 in. (5.7 × 5.1 × 4.1 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
1972-62.15 DJ

1972 62 15 dj 20190529 002c v01 m
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Smiling and wearing a wreath, this head may represent a cult attendant or festivalgoer.  The figure is now broken at the neck, so any other attributes are lost with the exception of a small portion of a tightly bound festival wreath, also known as a garland. Today the full garland seen is mostly a restoration added sometime prior to the 1970s. While the figure was most likely made with a mold, the wreath was probably made separately and joined to the figure while the clay was still wet. The entire piece would have been covered with whitewash and painted with additional details.  

This piece was acquired by the Menil Collection as part of a large group of terracottas, some of which were once part of the collection of Dr. Daniel Marie Fouquet (1850–1914). This piece, however, does not appear in any of the associated publications but can be linked to the collection through another means. It features a number in black ink (“2827”) that is similar to other terracotta objects once in the Fouquet Collection. That specific number appears on a handwritten list sent to French patron and collection Jacques Doucet (1853–1929) by Dr. Fouquet prior to his death in 1914, which is accompanied by photographs of this piece prior to the garland’s restoration.