Description This intaglio has the bust of a Ptolemaic queen in profile to the left. She is wearing a chiton and a necklace and has her hair elaborately done. The queen depicted may be Berenike II (ca. 267-222 BCE), the wife of Ptolemy III, or Cleopatra I (ca. 204-180 BCE), the wife of Ptolemy V. If the image is of Berenike II, the arrangement of her hair may be important. To ensure the safe return from battle of her husband, Ptolemy III, Berenike II dedicated her hair to the gods. After she cut it off, her hair reputedly became the constellation known as Berenice's Hair, near Leo. A Greek inscription on the right reads ΝΙΚΑΝΔΡ.Ϲ ΕΠ.EI (Nikandros made [me]).
- From Alexander to Cleopatra: Greek Art of the Hellenistic Age. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1988-1989.
Provenance George Spencer, fourth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, by 1817, [mode of acquisition unknown] [Marlborough no. 447]; George Spencer-Churchill, fifth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1817, by bequest; George Spencer-Churchill, sixth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1840, by bequest; John Spencer-Churchill, seventh Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 1857, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 28 June 1875, p. 70, lot 447 [as “daughter of Titus by Nicander”; David Bromilow, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, ca. 1875, by purchase; Julia Bromilow Jary, Bitteswell Hall, Leicestershire, 1898, by bequest; Sale, The Marlborough Gems Purchased by the Late David Bromilow, esq., Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 26 June 1899, p. 79, lot 447; Arthur Evans, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, 1899, by purchase [Francis E. Whelan as agent] [Evans inv. no. 64]; Jacob Hirsch, Munich, 1941 [executor of Evans' will]; Walters Art Museum, 1942, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1942
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