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Egyptian Gesso'd Cedar Mummy Mask, ex-Harmer Rooke

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Egyptian Gesso'd Cedar Mummy Mask, ex-Harmer Rooke
Item Details
Description
Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 26th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. A stunning wood mummy mask that is expertly carved from cedar and covered in a layer of white gesso painted in hues of beige, peach, rose, powder blue, black, and white. The elegant visage exhibits sizeable, almond-shaped eyes with pronounced lids beneath sweeping, slender brows, a prominent nose, full cheeks, a petite chin, and full lips held in a gentle smile. A rectangular headdress adorns the top of the head exhibiting an intricate design of vertical stripes and polka dots. A sensuous mask showcasing the quintessential ancient Egyptian funerary artistry! Size: 7" W x 8.75" H (17.8 cm x 22.2 cm); 12" H (30.5 cm) on included custom stand.

Ancient Egyptians believed it was of the utmost importance to preserve a body of the deceased, as the soul needed a place to reside after the death. Conservation of the body was done via mummification - a process involving the removal of internal organs that were placed in canopic jars, wrapping the body in linen, and then embalming. Death masks, such as this, were created so that the soul could recognize the body and return to it and, thus, were carved in the likeness of the deceased. Artisans used different materials. Earlier masks were carved from wood, while later ones were made of cartonnage, a material made from papyrus or linen and soaked in plaster which was then applied to a wooden mold, was used. Royal death masks, perhaps the most famous being that of Tutankhamen, were made from precious metals.

Interestingly, cedar wood was not native to Egypt. Egypt did not have verdant forests filled with tall trees, and unfortunately most of its native lumber was of relatively poor quality. Thus, they relied on importing to acquire hardwoods - ebony imported from Africa, cedar and pine from Lebanon. One fabulous obelisk inscription by Thutmose III attests to the luxury of treasured hardwoods. It reads as follows, "They brought to me the choicest products...consisting of cedar, juniper and of meru wood...all the good sweet woods of God's Land." The rarity of cedar meant that masks like this example were reserved for those who could afford them.

Provenance: private Vero Beach, Florida, USA collection; ex-private New Jersey, USA collection; ex-Harmer Rooke Gallery, New York, New York, USA, acquired 1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#164038
Condition
Verso has 5 dowel holes with 4 containing remains of wooden dowels. Some chipping and sizable areas of losses to paint on peripheries, headdress, both sides of brow, eyelids, and eyebrows, with a few stable hairline fissures to painted gesso in scattered areas. Expected fading of pigment in areas. Otherwise, excellent with great preservation to overall countenance.
Buyer's Premium
  • 26.5%

Egyptian Gesso'd Cedar Mummy Mask, ex-Harmer Rooke

Estimate $3,000 - $4,500
Aug 25, 2022
See Sold Price
Starting Price $1,500
Shipping, Payment & Auction Policies
Ships from Louisville, CO, United States
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Artemis Gallery
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item
0001: Egyptian Gesso'd Cedar Mummy Mask, ex-Harmer Rooke
Sold for $1,5502 Bids
Est. $3,000 - $4,500Starting Price $1,500
Ancient, Ethnographica, Fine Art
Aug 25, 2022 10:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 26.5%
Lot 0001 Details
Description
...
Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 26th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. A stunning wood mummy mask that is expertly carved from cedar and covered in a layer of white gesso painted in hues of beige, peach, rose, powder blue, black, and white. The elegant visage exhibits sizeable, almond-shaped eyes with pronounced lids beneath sweeping, slender brows, a prominent nose, full cheeks, a petite chin, and full lips held in a gentle smile. A rectangular headdress adorns the top of the head exhibiting an intricate design of vertical stripes and polka dots. A sensuous mask showcasing the quintessential ancient Egyptian funerary artistry! Size: 7" W x 8.75" H (17.8 cm x 22.2 cm); 12" H (30.5 cm) on included custom stand.

Ancient Egyptians believed it was of the utmost importance to preserve a body of the deceased, as the soul needed a place to reside after the death. Conservation of the body was done via mummification - a process involving the removal of internal organs that were placed in canopic jars, wrapping the body in linen, and then embalming. Death masks, such as this, were created so that the soul could recognize the body and return to it and, thus, were carved in the likeness of the deceased. Artisans used different materials. Earlier masks were carved from wood, while later ones were made of cartonnage, a material made from papyrus or linen and soaked in plaster which was then applied to a wooden mold, was used. Royal death masks, perhaps the most famous being that of Tutankhamen, were made from precious metals.

Interestingly, cedar wood was not native to Egypt. Egypt did not have verdant forests filled with tall trees, and unfortunately most of its native lumber was of relatively poor quality. Thus, they relied on importing to acquire hardwoods - ebony imported from Africa, cedar and pine from Lebanon. One fabulous obelisk inscription by Thutmose III attests to the luxury of treasured hardwoods. It reads as follows, "They brought to me the choicest products...consisting of cedar, juniper and of meru wood...all the good sweet woods of God's Land." The rarity of cedar meant that masks like this example were reserved for those who could afford them.

Provenance: private Vero Beach, Florida, USA collection; ex-private New Jersey, USA collection; ex-Harmer Rooke Gallery, New York, New York, USA, acquired 1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.

#164038
Condition
...
Verso has 5 dowel holes with 4 containing remains of wooden dowels. Some chipping and sizable areas of losses to paint on peripheries, headdress, both sides of brow, eyelids, and eyebrows, with a few stable hairline fissures to painted gesso in scattered areas. Expected fading of pigment in areas. Otherwise, excellent with great preservation to overall countenance.
Contacts
Artemis Gallery
720.890.7700
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
USA
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