Tutankhamen as a Child

Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamen, ca. 1332–1322 BC
Frit "Egyptian blue"
2004.39.1
Gift of Mohamed Farid Khamis and Oriental Weavers

This remarkable tiny sculpture represents the boy king as a child. He wears a pharaoh’s blue crown and holds a finger to his mouth, an Egyptian motif indicating his youth. A famous example in solid gold was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen showing him with a blue crown and also sucking his finger. The representation may well be a hold-over from the Amarna Period when images of the royal offspring took the place of other divine images to symbolize rebirth.

Egyptian blue is a glass frit, lying between faience and true glass in composition and structure. It was occasionally used for small sculptures, but was most frequently ground up and used as a blue pigment.