Egyptian mask of a human face

Egypt, New Kingdom, 1500 – 1000 BC.
H.: 14 cm

Finely carved mask with large almond-shaped eyes hollowed along with the extended cosmetic lines and long eyebrows for inlays (now missing). The top and back are plain as this mask would have been inserted into an anthropoid coffin. The 'mask' was carved by skilled craftsman, in this case from a dark hard wood, probably cedar. As this type of wood did not occur naturally in Egypt it was probably specially imported.

Provenance: Formerly in the French private collection of Mr and Mrs H.D., Grenoble, acquired in 1955

Literature: The coffin of Penu, a later complete sarcophagus showing how such a mask would have been used is illustrated in Sue D'Auria, Peter Lacovara and Catherine Roehrig, 'Mummies & Magic - The Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt' (Boston 1988), p.168, no.120