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Egyptian Late Dynastic Cedar Mummy Mask

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Egyptian Late Dynastic Cedar Mummy Mask
Item Details
Description
Ancient Egypt, Late Period, Dynasties 26 to 31, ca. 712 to 300 BCE. An Egyptian cedar and painted gesso sarcophagus mask of an archetypical Egyptian beauty in a black striped headdress painted with crimson, black, white, and russet hues. The voluminous deep-lidded eyes highlighted in thick strokes of black paint and long sweeping eyebrows mesmerize any viewer and lead one's eye to a rounded nose and red-outlined, plump lips resting in a slight smile. These features are beautifully accented by a heart-shaped face, tan complexion, and black banded headdress. With immense eyes that stare through time, the mask reminds us of the ephemerality of our own existence, yet the eternal importance of art. Size: 7.5" L x 3.75" W x 9" H (19 cm x 9.5 cm x 22.9 cm)

Ancient Egyptians believed it was of the utmost importance to preserve a body of the deceased, as the soul needed a place to reside after the death. Conservation of the body was done via mummification - a process involving the removal of internal organs that were placed in canopic jars, wrapping the body in linen, and then embalming. Death masks, such as this, were created so that the soul could recognize the body and return to it and, thus, were carved in the likeness of the deceased. Artisans used different materials. Earlier masks were carved from wood, while later ones were made of 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.

The mask was an essential part of the mummy, placed over the head to provide an idealized image of the deceased as he or she would be resurrected. This mask and others like it were traditionally carved from cedar. 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. So the ancient Egyptians 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." (Obelisk inscription by Thutmose III - J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, p. 321)

Provenance: ex Estate of Eldert Bontekoe, Pegasi Numismatics, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA acquired before 2000

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.

#158016
Condition
Expected surface wear with abraded areas, small cracks, and old losses to right side (proper), periphery of face and headdress, and high-pointed areas as shown. Minute writing on back, most likely a previous acquisition number. Areas of black paint have oxidized to a greenish-blue with age, creating beautiful verdant accents within the polychromatic design. Otherwise, excellent and intact.
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Egyptian Late Dynastic Cedar Mummy Mask

Estimate $1,600 - $2,400
Oct 22, 2020
See Sold Price
Starting Price $800
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Artemis Gallery
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item
0001: Egyptian Late Dynastic Cedar Mummy Mask
Sold for $9504 Bids
Est. $1,600 - $2,400Starting Price $800
Ancient & Ethnographic Art Through The Ages
Oct 22, 2020 10:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 24.5%
Lot 0001 Details
Description
...
Ancient Egypt, Late Period, Dynasties 26 to 31, ca. 712 to 300 BCE. An Egyptian cedar and painted gesso sarcophagus mask of an archetypical Egyptian beauty in a black striped headdress painted with crimson, black, white, and russet hues. The voluminous deep-lidded eyes highlighted in thick strokes of black paint and long sweeping eyebrows mesmerize any viewer and lead one's eye to a rounded nose and red-outlined, plump lips resting in a slight smile. These features are beautifully accented by a heart-shaped face, tan complexion, and black banded headdress. With immense eyes that stare through time, the mask reminds us of the ephemerality of our own existence, yet the eternal importance of art. Size: 7.5" L x 3.75" W x 9" H (19 cm x 9.5 cm x 22.9 cm)

Ancient Egyptians believed it was of the utmost importance to preserve a body of the deceased, as the soul needed a place to reside after the death. Conservation of the body was done via mummification - a process involving the removal of internal organs that were placed in canopic jars, wrapping the body in linen, and then embalming. Death masks, such as this, were created so that the soul could recognize the body and return to it and, thus, were carved in the likeness of the deceased. Artisans used different materials. Earlier masks were carved from wood, while later ones were made of 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.

The mask was an essential part of the mummy, placed over the head to provide an idealized image of the deceased as he or she would be resurrected. This mask and others like it were traditionally carved from cedar. 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. So the ancient Egyptians 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." (Obelisk inscription by Thutmose III - J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, p. 321)

Provenance: ex Estate of Eldert Bontekoe, Pegasi Numismatics, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA acquired before 2000

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.

#158016
Condition
...
Expected surface wear with abraded areas, small cracks, and old losses to right side (proper), periphery of face and headdress, and high-pointed areas as shown. Minute writing on back, most likely a previous acquisition number. Areas of black paint have oxidized to a greenish-blue with age, creating beautiful verdant accents within the polychromatic design. Otherwise, excellent and intact.
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Artemis Gallery
720.890.7700
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
USA
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