This striking marble bust represents arguably the ancient world’s most powerful and influential woman, Cleopatra. The last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, she bridged the gap between the Hellenistic era and the beginnings of Rome’s Eastern Mediterranean Empire, ruthlessly exploiting her amply-attested charms in order to gain, hold and perpetuate power in the region.The sculpture stands about 5” tall and depicts the head and neck of a determined-looking young woman. The piece is immediately distinguishable from classical Roman pieces by the manner of the carving, the form of the hair and – especially – the manner in which the features (particularly the eyes) have been rendered. The forehead is high and smooth, the cheekbones high, and the chin is rounded yet firm. The rendering of the brows is highly geometrical and symmetrical, converging jointly on a small, straight and pointed nose. The lips are firmly set and even, with a slight dimple above the lip and beneath the nose. As stated above, it is the eyes that stand out. They seem almost overlarge, due to the fact that they are wide-open and undecorated, and also because of the wide, elevated rim that surrounds them, lending drama to their impassivity and impactive power to the whole. The coiffure is represented in Cleopatra's unique signature hairstyle; it is shown as a pair of sweeping curtains of hair flowing back from an uneven centre parting, and gathered in the back with an elongated clip, oriented vertically forming three braids. Small triangular tufts of hair protrude from each side, just anterior to the ears.