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Inspired by a wall relief at Egypt’s biggest temple complex, Karnak, this York sandstone sunk-relief head of a pharaoh (most likely Thutmose IV, from about 1400 BC) shows the king wearing a supremely elegant khepresh battle crown or helmet, surmounted by a coiled protective cobra. The curves and balance of the composition appeal to the art nouveau enthusiast in me, and the ribbon streamer fluttering behind the nape of the neck adds movement. This 23in x 18in slab, which weighs 4 stone, was my first large stonecarving and I have not yet been able to bring myself to part with it!
– Mick Oakey