Culture: Egyptian
Date: Late Ptolemaic Period, 1st Century B.C.
Medium: Wood and stucco
Condition: Intact, very good.
Provenance: Ex-collection of Prof. Alcibiades N. Oikonomides (d.1988), Chicago (Classics professor at Loyola University), acquired in the 1970s; Ex-M.B. collection, Westlake Village, California.
Dimensions: H. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm.).
Ref No. EGWS116


Funerary masks were extremely important in ancient Egyptian culture. It was believed that once an individual died, his/her soul would exit the body and fly to the afterlife. A funerary mask was utilized to convey the features of the person from when he/she was alive. In capturing these features, the masks gave the people that they respectively represented faces in the afterlife. This allowed the soul to recognize the body and re-orient itself within it, allowing the body to live on in death.
This mask is in excellent condition. The wooden frame plays host to the stucco-composed shape. Wide, eager eyes dominate the face, with the beautifully molded mouth and nose being delicately defined. The mask wears a black and yellow striped headcloth.