The dating of this bust is problematic and has divided opinion for several decades. Cases have been made for an 18th Century date and also for a Roman dating of either early 1st Century or late 2nd Century A.D. The type - a head of a woman with idealised features wearing stephane and veil on the back of the head and the hairstyle at the front - derives from Hellenistic portraiture, perhaps intending to conflate a ruler with a deity; Ptolemaic royal princesses or queens are depicted in this way on both coins and gems. In the early 1st Century A.D. in Rome, this Ptolemaic Alexandrian tradition of glyptic art was used in the service of Julian propaganda and the empress Livia was represented in exactly this fashion in all manner of portraits, as a goddess, her hair parted in the middle and crimped into soft waves pulled back into a bun with small wisps of hair falling on to her cheeks, most often wearing diadem, wreath or fillet, and sometimes a veil worn on the back of the head. A similar hairstyle is seen later on mid-Antonine portraits, sometimes with veils, recalling the Livia type but dating to the 2nd Century A.D.