Egyptian Wood Mummy Mask
An ancient Egyptian carved wooden mummy mask with the surface gessoed and painted, the flesh in ochre, the eyes in black and the striated wig in yellow and black.
Late Period, ca. 700-30 BC.
Egypt has always been poorly provided with large trees for timber. Consequently wood was a precious imported commodity. Cypress and cedar were among the types of wood imported from Syria and Asia Minor. The most prized indigenous wood was that of the Sycamore. The finest woods were highly sought after for mummy portraits and coffins.
For a discussion of ancient Egyptian wood, cf. A. Lucas, "Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries," pp. 429-456.
Formerly in a Connecticut private collection, acquired in South Salem, New York in 1970.