In 1882 the Scottish archaeologist Alexander Henry Rhind (1833–1863) observed how faux statues were being fashioned in Egypt: “The [statue] is fractured to give it a truer look, and the hieroglyphic inscription is copied (but rudely) from a genuine original. The most popular and largely-sold forgery. . . bear[s] the name of Ramses the Great upon it.”
This block statue may be one such fake, or it might be a genuine antiquity that was re-carved with a royal appearance to increase its value to collectors such as Jane Stanford. The headdress bears the cartouche of Ramses II and the royal serpent emblem despite the fact that this type of seated figure almost always memorialized non-royal elites. Indeed, the closest parallels to this statue depict non-royals from the fourth century BCE, for instance those of Neskhemenyu and Pameniuwedja at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (see below).