This nicely detailed mask shows a large and burly gent, probably 40-50 years old, fully balding, his ears also fully cast. And it is rare to see a mask like this being three quarter bust in size. The patination is also interesting to the surface and there is something rather special about this example.
Death masks are an impression or cast of the face of a deceased person, usually made by oiling the skin and taking a plaster cast of the features, and are the most haunting mementos of the deceased. They have been in existence since the time of Tutankhamun, whose solid gold burial mask is an object of extreme beauty and superstition. Such masks could be used either in a funerary effigy or as a model for a posthumous portrait. It was important that a death mask was made as soon as possible after death so that the character of the deceased was captured before the features started to fall.
The largest and one of the most interesting masks we’ve come across to date, and as such it proves a particularly imposing reminder of our mortality.