Queen Nerfititi’s daughter seen for first time thanks to NHMF grant

30 September 2003

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) today announced its first grant since almost emptying the funding pot to save Tyntesfield back in June 2002.

The latest grant of £360,767 will mean that the Bolton Museum can now save a 3,430 year old statuette of an Egyptian princess, never seen publicly before, from the imminent risk of being sold off at auction or being lost overseas.  The grant, argues the Fund’s Head, once again demonstrates the NHMF’s unique ability to act as a guardian of great heritage.

Stephen Johnson, Head of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said; “As the only Government-backed fund of last resort for the nation’s heritage there will always be a huge demand on the National Heritage Memorial Fund.  Today’s announcement shows what fantastic and surprising objects, long part of our history, still need urgent funding to keep them in the UK. We all need to ensure that this Fund is properly resourced or run the risk of losing treasures such this statuette for ever.”

Thanks to support from the NHMF, the 3,430 year-old statuette will now go on public display for the first time since the ancient Egyptian period.

Thought to be the best of its kind in the world, Egyptologists believe the antiquity depicts one of the four daughters of Queen Nerfititi – the mother of Tutankahmun and one of the most powerful women in ancient civilization. 

The artefact was fashioned around 1353- 1336bc, during a period considered to be the high point of Egyptian art.  Only two other artefacts of its kind are known to have survived.  They are housed in the Louvre,Paris and in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania. 

The statuette has been in private ownership in the North West for more than 100 years, and Bolton Museum, which already houses one of the top Egyptian collections in the country, was offered first refusal to purchase it.  In a race against time to raise funds before a public auction, the museum has been awarded £360,767 from the NHMF and £75,000 by the National Art Collections Fund to acquire the statuette. 

Bolton museum’s renowned Egyptian collection is a legacy of the strong ties forged in the late 1800’s by the region’s wealthy cotton magnates and traders on the Nile Delta. 

Further information

Please contact Lisa Mangan, Sam Goody, or Katie Owen at the National Heritage Memorial Fund press office,
Phone: 020 7591 6032 / 6033 / 6036.

For further information on the Egyptian Statuette, please call Steve Garland at Bolton Museum
Phone: 01204 332 211.