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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 93, Lot: 1950. Estimate $400.
Sold for $450. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Middle Kingdom. 13th Dynasty. Queen Ini (circa 1781-1650 BC). Steatite scarab (22x15mm). Base engraved with the title and name of “The Great Royal Wife, United with the White Crown, Ini”. Cf. NFA 13; Matouk I, 85; Hall 202; Basel 127. A few chips, once glazed, pierced for mounting.

From the David Hendin Collection.

Queen Ini is well attested on scarabs and other sources dating to the 13th Dynasty. The name of her husband is not known but one suggestion is that she could be the wife of King Aya in the late 13th Dynasty. She is one of the earliest queens whose name is written in a cartouche.

Although royal women had a special status in Egypt, interestingly there is no word for queen and they are always defined in a relation to the husband as “king’s wife” or “great king’s wife”.