A Theatrical pair of large, carved wood polychrome and gilt Egyptian masks, based on the funerary mask of King Tutankhamun.
Late 20th century
Two funerary masks of Tutankhamun, Pharaoh of Egypt (1336 – 1327 BC) based on the famous original housed at the Museum of Cairo, Egypt and excavated by the English archaeologist, Howard Carter in 1922.
Tutankhamun ruled from Memphis, Egypt and was around seventeen years old when he died. The original masks are considered to be the finest examples of art and craftsmanship of ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom, and the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb and its extraordinary treasures in the Valley of the Kings was an international sensation, influencing art and design of the Art Deco period.
The original mask, illustrated below, was created from hammered gold inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian, quartz, turquoise, obsidian and coloured glass and covered the head of the mummy on the innermost third coffin. His forehead in a striped royal headdress bears Egyptian symbols of divine authority and protection, Nekhbet the vulture and Wadjet the cobra, and stylised falcon heads decorate his shoulders. Tutankhamun was the living representation of the deity and his mask would aid his magical transition from mortality to divinity. The reproduced kohl eye make-up endows him with an eternal glamour.
A mysterious curse has been associated with the discovery of the tomb and its treasures, perhaps initiated by the press who invented a text:
"They who enter this sacred tomb shall swift be visited by wings of death.
The reverse of Tutankhamun’s beautiful original gold mask carries a protective spell in hieroglyphics:
"Your right eye is the night bark [of the sun god], your left eye is the day bark, your eyebrows are [those of] the Ennead of the Gods, your forehead is [that of] Anubis, the nape of your neck is [that of] Horus, your locks of hair are [those of] Ptah-Soker. [You are] in front of the Osiris [Tutankhamen], he sees thanks to you, you guide him to the goodly ways, you smite for him the confederates of Seth so that he may overthrow your enemies before the Ennead of the Gods in the great Castle of the Prince, which is in Heliopolis...the Osiris, the king of Upper Egypt Nebkheperura, deceased, given life like Ra."
The sell-out, touring exhibition of the original treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb at the British Museum in London in 1972 may have inspired the creation of Westland’s representations of the young & serene, God-King Tutankhamun.
Link to: decorative antiques and furnishings
Listed Price: £2,200 ( + vat in EU zone )