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Mummy Mask of a Man

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Egyptian men living under Roman rule used mummy masks that combined contemporary and traditional elements. This example features wavy locks of black hair, a Roman fashion at this time. The protective winged scarab on top decorates a traditional headdress adorned with lappets containing images of the deceased’s mummy before Osiris, god of the dead. The face is unlined and ageless, also a traditional element.
MEDIUM Stucco, gold leaf, pigment
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES early 1st century C.E.
    PERIOD Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS 20 x 12 x 7 1/4 in., 7.5 lb. (50.8 x 30.5 x 18.4 cm, 3.4kg)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 72.57
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One linen and stucco gilt mummy mask of a man. Short curly hair at forehead, modelled and painted black. Ears face and neck gilt. Eyebrows and eyeballs black. Wearing a lappet wig with vertical stripes to cheek, of yellow and gilt. Below this the lappets are divided into zones with representations of gods, etc. At neck, below a strand of gilt beads in relief, a broad collar with floral motifs. On top head a winged scarab with sun disk in relief. On back head a winged uraeus. Outer edges of bib decorated with representations of gods and floral and geometric motifs. Condition: Top of head completely restored after being crushed. All cracks visible but the original shape and form restored. The body of the scarab and the sun disk have the most fractures. Face is unharmed with only a small chip gone from the tip of the nose. Cracks running into right ear and along the area where neck meets right lappet and also across base of the neck. Lower corners of bib bent and reshaped. Cracks visible. Formerly a large piece gone from lower edge of bib below left lappet, now filled and painted. Piece missing from lower left lappet. Greens, blues, yellows and some gilt areas are discolored and/or darkened. Generally is now good and quite firm.
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