Art: A Real Connoisseur

With everything else to see in Washington's vast National Gallery, it was easy to miss the 28 small pieces of Egyptian sculpture set up last week in one of the first-floor galleries. None of the well-preserved little Nile maidens with their high busts and long bobs stands more than 30 inches in bare feet. The handsome obsidian head of Pharaoh Amenemhat III (1800 B.C.), ranked by Egyptologists as one of the great masterpieces of Egyptian art, measures less than 5 inches from chin to crown. Other pieces—the intricately carved make-up spoon used by Egyptian belles to mix cosmetics, and the bronze...

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