Romano-Egyptian Terracotta Female Head

£ 225.00

A fine Romano-Egyptian terracotta fragment of a female head. She is portrayed in a neutralistic manner, with well defined facial features. Her facial features are naturalistically rendered, displaying full lips and large eyes. The woman’s hair is of a classic Roman style with a middle parting and a simple symmetrical design with her hair braided and placed in high knot. Mould-made in two sections, the fragment displays on its sides the lines where the two halves were attached together in antiquity. This portrait possesses a Hellenistic trait inheriting from both Roman and Egyptian culture, and is mounted on a clear stand. Two piercings are visible on either side of the face indicating large earrings.

Date: Circa 2nd century AD
Provenance: From the collection of S.Gozlan, a professor at the Ecole Normale d’’Instituteurs de Chartes, and her descendants.
Condition: Fine condition, with a slight chip to the nose due to aging. Mounted on a custom-made stand. The head itself measures 5.6cm height.


Physical appearance was of paramount importance in Ancient Rome and much energy was invested into it, as it would have reflected an individual’s social status. Hairstyle, along with jewellery, would have been one of the principal means to showcase wealth and prestige as well as a major determinant of physical attractiveness. Slaves would keep their hair short, to reflect their low social status, and would tend to the intricate hairstyles of their masters, a scene typically carved on gravestones. Women would normally wear their hair drawn up and control by hairpins and nets, as loose hair was associated with loosed morals. More elaborate hairstyles would have been achieved with wigs, which were commonly made out of human hair harvested from slaves. Different hairstyles characterised different time periods: the relative simplicity of off-sept hair tied at the back into a nodus, seen under the Julio-Claudian gens, was dismissed by complex style styles with towering heights and multiple components during the Flavian era.

Weight 93.2 g
Dimensions L 4.2 x W 3 x H 9.4 cm


Pottery and Porcelain

You may also like…