A fine Ancient Egyptian mummy mask fashioned out of small faience beads of various colours. The masks were associated with funerary traditions and would have been placed over the face of the deceased at burial for both decorative and protective purposes. The mask depicts a stylised face, with large geometric features, such as a yellow triangular nose, long black linear brows, a small round mouth, and trapezoid eyes, and the skin is rendered in green beads to evoke the state of its wearer. The mask has been mounted on a sheet of papyrus.
The mask itself is 10.3cm length, 10.8cm width.
Date: Circa 664-332 BCE Period: Late Dynastic Period Condition: Very fine condition
Beaded mummy masks abounded during the Late Period, covering both decorative and symbolic purposes in burial practices. Their unnaturalistic style and the similarities between beaded mummy masks in general make it unlikely that they were modelled after the face of the deceased individual. They seem to have been more likely generic images of a dead human face as the absence of expression and the blue-greenish skin complexion potentially indicate this. However, such masks have also been interpreted as visual representations of the god Osiris – himself also a dead being – frequently depicted in the tombs with an identical skin-colour.
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