Luigi Palma di Cesnola was an Italian by birth who emigrated to the United States in the late 1850s. He served in the Civil War and was thereafter appointed to a consulship as a U.S. representative to Cyprus. Cesnola spent his time in Cyprus overseeing excavations and building an unprecedented collection of Cypriot antiquities. He shipped the collection to England in 1872, by then numbering over 35,000 objects. From there he negotiated its sale to the recently-founded Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The collection arrived at the Museum in 275 crates. Cesnola spent the next several years back in Cyprus and he eventually returned to New York in 1877, becoming the Museum's first director in 1879. Between 1885-1903 Cesnola published part of the collection in three large volumes entitled, A Descriptive Atlas of the Cesnola Collection of Cypriote Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. As the Museum's collection grew and diversified over the subsequent decades, interest in the Cesnola collection began to decline. In 1928 the Museum held an auction through the Anderson Galleries in New York to sell a selection of the collection, including this head.