Egyptian statue / mummy mask - Saite period art / sculpture mounted on stand


Shipping to United States: $93.98


Dimensions - Mummy Mask Including stand -
Height - 34.3 cm x Base Length - 26.6cm x Base Width - 14cm approximately

Inches -
Height - 13 -1/2 x 10-1/2 x 5-1/2 approximately

Available here is my interpretation of a Saite period mummy mask. Made of a strong composition stone, I have stripped back the colours to offer a sepia tone in the details of the headdress. The face and the fine details of the collar are given a minimum of colouration from the Egyptian palette. The whole effect is one of ancient origin with extra aged effects giving a haunting presence. The felt based stand is easily removable.

Background inspirations - This mummy mask has a somewhat haunting beauty and was inspired by my encounter with an exhibition in Australia from the Leiden museum in the Netherlands in 1999. I was working at the Queensland museum at the time displaying my best work and carving on site alongside this wonderful exhibit which I would look at every day and absorb the ancient artistry. I hadn't made a mask for a few years and I had the 'muse' with me to make another one so I did. I still hadn't been to Egypt yet and being around the museum pieces made me so happy. This mask does seem to smile somewhat.

The Saite period (664 - 525 BCE) was one of several 'renaissance' eras of Egypt's very long history and is also known as the 26th Dynasty. The capital city was at that time located in Sais, a formerly provincial delta town that became the center of government. As the ancient world became more cosmopolitan the need for Egypt to protect its' northern borders from increasing foreign invasion became the principal reason for several capital cities to be built or embellished in the delta region. eg. Bubastis, Pi-Ramesse.

The Saite period was directly influenced by the New Kingdom and in particular the Thutmoside era. A hint of the proportions and sculptural style of the great Pharaoh Thutmose III can be detected in many pieces from this time as if trying to invoke this distant and greatest period in Egyptian history. Even the glorious New Kingdom itself borrowed some ideas from earlier times . Some Old Kingdom tombs, already a thousand years old, were exposed by the time of the New Kingdom and this was due to plunder during periods of previous instability. These plunderings although unbelievably sacreligious to a reformed society, had the effect a little bit like what a museum is for us. A revealing glimpse into their own thousand year old past provided inspirational decorative interiors as subjects for re-interpretation by a new generation of ancient artists.

This mummy mask fragment is in this 26th dynasty style and as mentioned I had my own Saite / Thutmoside period of exploration at the turn of the century when the original mask was made. This is a great reproduction of the master carving and It represents a noble persons features and not a royal entity, due to the style of striped headdress and the lack of any royal insignia such as the Uraeus protective Cobra. The cobra that could have been located on the brow is absent here with no trace of it ever being modified to have one attatched.

Some artworks were recycled and modified in later times for kings without a fully functioning workshop. Burials at Tanis during the 21st dynasty were certainly supplimented with recycled grave goods from earlier periods .Everyone in the population apart from royalty were forbidden to wear the Uraeus as only they and the gods could be shown wearing this sacred attribute in life and in art.(Some late period artifacts are the exception here as some masks I have seen coming out of the so called "VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES" in the Bahariya oasis, are confused attempts by provincial artists giving cobras to commoners)

What tended to happen during a king's reign and is quite fascinating is that some portrait sculptures being created outside the royal temple workshops were no doubt influenced by them. It appears the artists would try to capture an essence of the ruler sometimes blended with the intended owners features. Statues of commoners during the reign of Amunhotep III are the clearest example of this. A filtering of style from the masters down shared and passed into all strata of a participating community.

* All items are packed with great care and in this instance, mask and stand are individually wrapped so combined shipping is not offered as this is a delicate piece on offer.

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  • North America : 1 - 3 weeks
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  • Latin America and the Caribbean : 1 - 3 weeks
  • North Africa and the Middle East : 1 - 3 weeks
  • Sub-Saharan Africa : 1 - 3 weeks

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