The larger-than-life portrait is assembled from several pieces, some of which are early 20th-century supplements. The folds of clothing barely indicated at the back show that the head belonged to a bust and not a statue. The long hair is tied in a bun, which was separately carved and fitted to the portrait with the help of a dowel hole at the nape of the neck. The grooves at the sides indicate marble insets of an unknown function. Based on its monumental size, the bust probably represents a female member of the imperial family, perhaps the empress Livia, the wife of Augustus.
Marble analyses conducted by Danielle Decrouez (Geneva, Museum of Natural History) and Karl Ramseyer (University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences) have shown that the statue was made of Parian (Paros-Marathi) marble. Click here for the detailed results.