Egypt, Romano-Egyptian, ca. 1st century BCE to 2nd century CE. A haunting, skillfully sculpted stucco portrait head with wide-open, glass eyes. The figure has a well-shaped nose and full closed lips, with a close-trimmed mustache and beard as well as a head of tightly curled hair. Colorful paint remains on the face, lips, and hair, giving the impression of a darker skinned man with dark brown hair and dark pink lips. The face is lifelike, the glass eyes startlingly real, so that it is easy to imagine the man whose ancient portrait this is. Custom block stand. Size: 5.25" L x 5.75" W x 8.25" H (13.3 cm x 14.6 cm x 21 cm)
Heads like this one reflect the profound change that the Greco-Roman world brought to Egypt. The naturalistic depiction of a person's face as a plaster mask or even full head replaced the stylized art of dynastic Egypt; hieroglyphs and other symbols painted on elaborate sarcophagi fell out of favor, and this head would have been a memorial alongside a simple wooden coffin. These heads were reserved for the elite, who were buried in small chapels, usually mummified and with other members of their family and/or town.
See a similar example that sold for $12,500 at Christie's New York in 2012: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/an-egyptian-painted-plaster-mummy-mask-roman-5567173-details.aspx
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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.