In Animal Crossing New Leaf and New Horizons, you never know what you will get when Redd comes to town. Redd’s family discount can only go so far as to help you purchase an antique shop’s worth of overpriced items, from shady art to questionable furniture. When he arrives at your town or island, out of all of the art pieces he brings, you never know which one will be genuine and acceptable as a donation to Blathers at the Museum.
I love the challenge of trying to decipher which art pieces are real or fake, but I am not an art history major and don’t want to miss the opportunity to put any of the beautiful artwork in my Museum. This helpful guide will ensure that you won’t get duped (like I have, multiple times) when buying the Mystic Statue from Redd.
Redd in the Animal Crossing Series
Redd is known by many names. Whether he goes by Crazy Redd, Jolly Redd, or just Redd, he is a staple character in Animal Crossing. He has appeared in every mainline game and is based on a Kitsune (the Japanese word for fox) from Japanese mythology. Japanese culture has significant ties to foxes, regarding them as either supernatural tricksters or helpful aides.
Redd embodies the motif of the trickster Kitsune. When he shows up in your town or island, he may have multiple genuine pieces of art and sculptures or only fakes. He also carries vastly overpriced furniture items, with some “special” items able to boost your HRA rating.
Redd comes and goes as he pleases, but keep a lookout for his tent or boat parked on the northern shore of your island if you want to start donating art pieces to your Museum. He is the only way to obtain art or sculpture pieces in any Animal Crossing game.
Real or Fake?
The method for determining the authenticity of the Mystic Statue differs from game to game.
In Animal Crossing New Leaf, if the top of the statue’s headdress is rounded instead of flat on top, it is a fake. The flat-top headdress version is the real deal. I think New Leaf’s version of the Mystic Statue is easier to tell just because the dupe is more apparent.
Images from Fandom
In Animal Crossing New Horizons, the difference between authentic and forgery is not based on the shape of the head but on Nefertiti’s jewelry instead. If the statue is wearing an earring on its right ear (left from your point of view), it is a fake. This fake version tripped me up the first time I purchased it from Redd. The earring is so subtle and convincing that I thought it had to be a part of the real-life sculpture.
Images from Fandom
After donating the statue to the Museum, the description will read…
You can access this piece of art in Happy Home Designer by accessing the save point after Day 9 in the game. Choose to “Study the Handbook” and go through the “Art Collection” lesson using one play coin. After completing the task, the game will automatically add 33 authentic artworks and 22 fakes to your collection, including the Mystic Statue.
Real World History
Although it carries the name Mystic Statue in Animal Crossing, this bust bears a real-life counterpart. It is called the Nefertiti Bust. The figure is made from cut limestone with painted stucco coated on top. Nefertiti was the wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten and is considered one of the most famous historical women of the ancient era.
She was the stepmother of King Tutankhamun and may have become a pharaoh-like figure after the death of her husband. This bust, in particular, is one of the most copied pieces of art in existence, including its Animal Crossing versions.
A German archeological team discovered the bust in the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose, and it is said to have been made around 1345 BCE. There is much controversy about her missing left iris. Some researchers put out a £1,000 reward for the disappeared quartz stone, but some historians theorize that this omission was intentional. Some speculated that Nefertiti had an infection that caused her to lose vision in her left eye.
Other statues made of Nefertiti from the same period contain both irises, thus debunking the theory. After doing some digging, I found some ideas surrounding whether the bust was supposed to be displayed as a piece of prominent art in the first place. Since it was found in Thutmose’s workshop, along with other similar busts in more unfinished states, I think this piece was meant to be used as a reference. It makes sense why one of the irises is missing.
As a reference piece, Thutmose could have used this sculpt to show the process of building a bust and demonstrated what a quartz iris looked like when attached to the head or by itself. I like this theory best because although the Nefertiti Bust is viewed as such a classic wonder of the ancient art world, it was just a reference tool in its time, a purely practical piece.
The bust was moved from Egypt to Germany and is currently in the permanent collection of the Neues Museum in Berlin.
One piece of random trivia regarding the bust is that the iconic hairstyle of the bride of Frankenstein in the movie The Bride of Frankenstein is directly inspired by the crown headpiece of the Nefertiti Bust.
Question: Is my Mystic Statue Real or Fake?
Answer: The way to tell if your bust is real or fake differs from game to game. In Animal Crossing New Leaf, if the bust has a rounded top of its headdress, it is fake. If it has a flat top to the headdress, it is genuine. In Animal Crossing New Horizons, it is a fake if the bust has an earring on.
If the statue does not have earrings on, it is real! The earring usually sits on her right ear (your left side if you are standing in front of the bust). Be aware that when Redd visits, he may only be carrying fakes, so don’t assume that one of the art pieces in his collection has to be honest!
Question: Is the Mystic Statue a Real-Life Statue in Animal Crossing New Horizons?
Answer: Yes! It is based on the Nefertiti Bust, made by the sculptor Thutmose around 1345 BCE. Nefertiti was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. It is regarded as one of the most copied pieces of Egyptian art. The bust is famously missing its left iris, leading to much speculation about if Nefertiti was blind in that eye. However, this has been debunked by other statues of her from the same era having both irises. It was found in 1912 by a German Archaeological team and is housed in the Neues Museum in Berlin.
Question: Is the Mystic Statue Haunted?
Answer: Nope. There is no evidence that purchasing or displaying the Mystic Statue has any haunted effects in the games. The only way to get haunted items in Animal Crossing New Horizons is to buy fake art pieces with specific characteristics from Redd. No ghost busting needed!
One of my favorite aspects of the Animal Crossing series is its connection to real-world classical art. I love spending hours in museums, looking over every detail of a painting or enjoying the calm atmosphere of the halls of hand-crafted pieces of history. Animal Crossing allows me to do that in the virtual realm, expanding my understanding of ancient and classical art pieces, including ones that I would never be able to see in person.
I have never been to Berlin, let alone the Neues Museum, but through Animal Crossing, I can view one of the most prized pieces of art in the ancient world. The Nefertiti Bust, known as the Mystic Statue in Animal Crossing, is a piece of art I may never see in person but can experience any time I want in the halls of my carefully curated Museum.