Queen Netikhares

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In the year 2650 BC, Prince Amasis, eldest son of the Pharaoh Sanakht, killed his father with an axe. He made himself king, and took his father’s young wife, Netikharis, as his queen. He ruled Egypt for less than a year. In 1899, at Saqqara, Professor J. H. B. Higby unearthed a small tomb in which he found the remains, not only of Amasis, but of Queen Netikharis as well. The rudimentary nature of its construction, and its dearth of contents, would indicate that both Amasis and Netikharis had died in disgrace. Higby emptied the tomb and shipped everything back to England aboard the freighter “Exclasistes”. Two days out of Gibralter, the “Exclasistes” sank in a storm. All that remained from the tomb of Amasis was a small limestone bust of Queen Netikharis that Higby had carried with him when he returned to England. Unable to offer proof of his extraordinary discovery, Higby turned bitter and despondent, and on a rainy March night in 1901, he drank a small bottle of laudanum and shot himself in the head. His personal effects went to a second hand shop in London; presumably the bust of Netikharis was among them. In May of 2009, a very old, quite distinguished woman called at my studio, “Young man, I have something in my car that may interest you.” I was curious. It was a rental car with a middle aged Mexican driver with heavy Indian features. He opened the trunk and removed the top of a wooden crate to reveal a limestone bust of what appeared to be an Egyptian queen. “The existence of this must remain a secret,” she said. “It’s not stolen, but, these days, the legal ownership of such things is open to question.” She asked me to make a bronze copy. We agreed on a price, she gave me a cash deposit, and the driver carried the crate into my studio. I immediately began work on a silicon rubber mold. Two days later the driver returned alone. I removed the completed mold from the bust and he took the Queen away. That was almost four years ago. I have neither seen nor heard from either of them since.

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Note: This story is subject to change at any time according to the whim of its creator.

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