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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
The wealthy could afford gilded mummy masks, while poorer people modeled mummy masks from clay. The gilded mask shown here is protected by the winged scarab on his head, symbol of rebirth into the next world. Images of the deceased’s mummy before Osiris on the lappets of his head covering suggest a positive judgment on his entrance to the afterlife. The clay mask nearby is painted yellow to imitate gold, while the eyes are painted white with blue outlines to imitate inlay.
MEDIUM Stucco, gold leaf, pigment
  • Place Made: Africa
  • 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)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Mummy Mask of a Man, early 1st century C.E. Stucco, gold leaf, pigment, 20 x 12 x 7 1/4 in., 7.5 lb. (50.8 x 30.5 x 18.4 cm, 3.4kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 72.57. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 72.57_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 72.57_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    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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