Egypt, 3rd Intermediate Period, 25-21 Dynasty, ca. 1069 to 732 BCE. A dramatic sarcophagus mask with a turquoise and black striped headdress, bronze eyebrow and eyelid inlays (oxidized to blue-green hues), large stone eye inlays, heart-shaped lips, a straight noble nose, and delicate feminine contours, all on a russet red face. This mask exudes a lifelike air not often seen in Egyptian art. Masterfully carved from imported wood, layered with gesso, impressively detailed with paint and inlays. Size: 9.5" W x 12.75" H (24.1 cm x 32.4 cm); 19.75" H (50.2 cm) on stand
Ancient Egyptians believed it was of the utmost importance to preserve a body of the deceased, because the soul needed a place to reside after the death. Preservation of the body was done via mummification - a process involving the removal of internal organs that were placed in canopic jars, wrapping body in linen, and then embalming. Death masks like this example were created so that the soul could recognize the body and return to it. For this reason, death masks were made in the likeness of the deceased. Artisans used different materials. Earlier masks were carved from wood. Later, cartonnage, a material made from papyrus or linen and soaked in plaster which was then applied to a wooden mold, was used. Royal death masks, perhaps the most famous being that of Tutankhamen, were made from precious metals. All death masks were intended to resemble the deceased subject; however, eyes were always slightly enlarged and lips presented in a subtle smile as we see in this example.
This piece has been tested using radiocarbon analyses at the University of Georgia Center for Applied Isotope Studies and has been found to be ancient and/or of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA Collection; This piece has been tested using radiocarbon analyses at the University of Georgia Center for Applied Isotope Studies and has been found to be ancient and/or of the period stated. A full report will accompany purchase.
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.