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Huge Egyptian Late Period Wood & Gesso Sarcophagus Mask

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Huge Egyptian Late Period Wood & Gesso Sarcophagus Mask
Item Details
Description
Egypt, Late Dynastic to Ptolemaic Period, ca. 664 to 30 BCE. A hand-carved wooden mask with large almond-shaped eyes and recessed brows, a prominent nose, a gentle mouth with full lips, nicely-contoured cheeks, and a rounded headdress that sits low on the forehead. The back of the mask is slightly concave with several residual dowels and dowel holes visible, and a carved slot behind the chin perhaps held a false beard. The surface of the obverse side is coated in dense layers of chalky-white gesso, and traces of applied black, tan, and blue pigment are visible along the headdress and face. The sarcophagus mask was an essential component of the mummy, placed over the head to provide an idealized image of the deceased as they would be once resurrected. This mask and others like it were traditionally carved from cedar. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 10.125" W x 12" H (25.7 cm x 30.5 cm); 15.25" H (38.7 cm) on included custom stand.

Interestingly, cedar wood was not native to Egypt. Egypt did not have verdant forests filled with tall trees, and unfortunately most of its native lumber was of relatively poor quality. Thus, they relied on importing to acquire hardwoods - ebony imported from Africa, cedar and pine from Lebanon. One fabulous obelisk inscription by Thutmose III attests to the luxury of treasured hardwoods. It reads as follows, "They brought to me the choicest products…consisting of cedar, juniper and of meru wood…all the good sweet woods of God's Land." The rarity of cedar meant that masks like this example were reserved for those who could afford them.

Provenance: private Honolulu, Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private New York, New York, USA collection, acquired by Mr. Ezeldeen Taha Eldarir in Egypt between 1946 and 1948

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.

#138264
Condition
Losses to most pigmentation as well as areas of peripheries, verso, headdress, eyes, and nose. Minor fading to some finer details, with fading and chipping to pigmentation, and several stable fissures. Nice earthen deposits as well as traces of gesso and pigmentation throughout.
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Huge Egyptian Late Period Wood & Gesso Sarcophagus Mask

Estimate $4,500 - $6,500
Dec 05, 2018
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Starting Price $3,000
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Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery

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0009: Huge Egyptian Late Period Wood & Gesso Sarcophagus Mask

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $4,500 - $6,500Starting Price $3,000
DAY 1 : Classical Antiquities & Asian Art
Dec 05, 2018 10:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 24.5%

Lot 0009 Details

Description
...
Egypt, Late Dynastic to Ptolemaic Period, ca. 664 to 30 BCE. A hand-carved wooden mask with large almond-shaped eyes and recessed brows, a prominent nose, a gentle mouth with full lips, nicely-contoured cheeks, and a rounded headdress that sits low on the forehead. The back of the mask is slightly concave with several residual dowels and dowel holes visible, and a carved slot behind the chin perhaps held a false beard. The surface of the obverse side is coated in dense layers of chalky-white gesso, and traces of applied black, tan, and blue pigment are visible along the headdress and face. The sarcophagus mask was an essential component of the mummy, placed over the head to provide an idealized image of the deceased as they would be once resurrected. This mask and others like it were traditionally carved from cedar. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 10.125" W x 12" H (25.7 cm x 30.5 cm); 15.25" H (38.7 cm) on included custom stand.

Interestingly, cedar wood was not native to Egypt. Egypt did not have verdant forests filled with tall trees, and unfortunately most of its native lumber was of relatively poor quality. Thus, they relied on importing to acquire hardwoods - ebony imported from Africa, cedar and pine from Lebanon. One fabulous obelisk inscription by Thutmose III attests to the luxury of treasured hardwoods. It reads as follows, "They brought to me the choicest products…consisting of cedar, juniper and of meru wood…all the good sweet woods of God's Land." The rarity of cedar meant that masks like this example were reserved for those who could afford them.

Provenance: private Honolulu, Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private New York, New York, USA collection, acquired by Mr. Ezeldeen Taha Eldarir in Egypt between 1946 and 1948

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.

#138264
Condition
...
Losses to most pigmentation as well as areas of peripheries, verso, headdress, eyes, and nose. Minor fading to some finer details, with fading and chipping to pigmentation, and several stable fissures. Nice earthen deposits as well as traces of gesso and pigmentation throughout.

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