Updated: May 20, 2022
Tiye was the spouse of King Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten. This small portrait was probably produced in the last years of rule of her husband because the queen is shown at an advanced age. The artist produced a realistic face which captures the personality of Tiye: Intelligent, determined and assertive, all qualities which are also evident through historic-literary sources. After the death of Amenhotep III and still in the lifetime of Tiye the head was reworked, the originally head scarf of silver with the gold uraeus was covered with several layers of linen which were decorated with small faience beads. A crown consisting of a sundisc, cow horns and a pair of feathers was added separately.
This type of crown is usually worn by goddesses or deified queens. By adding this crown to the statue Akhenaton raised his mother, already in her lifetime, into the realm of a goddess. The crown was rediscovered in our collection after having been separated from the head for many years.
Title: Statuette of the Lady Tiye
Inventory number Main number: ÄM 21834, ÄM 17852 Collection Egyptian Museum Berlin
Reign: Reign of Amenhotep III–Akhenaten
Date: 1355 BC
Object name/Title Portrait of Queen Tiye with a Crown of Two Feathers
The "mistress of the harim Tiye" wears the voluminous wig and clinging dress of her time. Her necklace is made of gold, semi-precious stones and glass.
Dimensions Total height 22,5 cm
Medium Yew wood, silver, gold and faience inlays
PLACES AND DATES
Dated New Kingsom, Dynasty 18, ca. 1355 BC
Period New Kingdom - 18th Dynasty
HISTORY Collector / Previous owner / Formerly collection of the Comtesse Martine de Béhague,
Paris (d. 1939 Acquiring details Purchased by the Museum from Dikran G. Kelekian
Acquisition date Date of entry in the inventory: 1941