Measurements: 25 cm - height


Description: An ancient Egyptian cartonnage gilt child’s mummy mask dating to Ptolemaic Period. The delicate mask is decorated with polychrome painted details – red, white and black pigments are visible on the collar; the face is gilt with black eye-defining lines and eyebrows, the eyes are white with black pupils. The child is shown wearing a blue wig with a red and white striped collar painted. The ears are set high and gilded as well. 


During the Ptolemaic period, following conquest by Alexander the Great, Egypt was ruled by one of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy I Soter, and his successors, until the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest. During this period, the use of mummy masks became increasingly common. A mummy mask served as protection but could also act as a substitute for the mummified head should it be damaged or lost. The mask was an essential part of the mummy, placed over the head to provide an idealized image of the deceased, as they would be resurrected.


Provenance: UK private collection, acquired by the owner's father in the late 60s or early 70s. Thence by descent. Bonhams sale 23364.


Period: Ptolemaic Period, 305 – 30 BC.


Condition: Very fine, some minor cracks to the surface of the cartonnage – please refer to the photos for details.

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