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Egyptian Wooden Painted Mask, Late New Kingdom, 1350-1070 B.C

Conservation:  Good condition
Material:  Wood
Dimensions:  24 cm; 32.5 cm high including stand
Provenance:  Ex private Swiss collection, before 1960/ Acquired at auction, UK, February 2023. This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.11600-199042.


On request
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A wooden funerary mask with finely delineated eyes and eyebrows painted on a plaster background. The mask is typical of Phoenician-Punic production and likely had a funerary purpose.

This type of mask was made with the purpose of being placed on the sarcophagus, which is why there are still wooden nails on the back of the mask. The intention of placing these personalised masks was so that the soul could recognise the body of the deceased.

In ancient Egypt, masks were used for funerary purposes, as it was believed that it was important to preserve the body of the deceased because the soul must have a place to dwell after death. The preservation of the corpse was achieved through mummification, but it was also considered vital that the soul could recognize the body, so that it could return to it. That is why there was an abundance of death masks, made in the likeness of the deceased.

The first masks were made of wood, followed by masks of cartonnage, a material made of papyrus or linen and soaked in plaster, which was then cast in a wooden mold, a cheap variant intended for the lower class.

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