King Tutankhamen Funerary Mask
American: c. 1920s
Hand-painted cast bronze
14.5 inches high, 14.5 inches wide, 3 inches deep
Cast bronze and hand painted replica plaque of the funerary mask of King Tutankhamen, based on the original solid gold artifact found in the excavation of the Egyptian monarch’s tomb in 1924. This example is similar in form to the original, somewhat simplified and stylized, and flatter than the original. It is painted only with the blue stripes on the headress rather than full color and gilt. As with the original, it has a vulture and a cobra at the top of the headdress symbolizing rule over Upper and Lower Egypt.
The breathtaking tomb of Tutankhamen captured the imagination of the public when it was initially discovered in late 1922, fueling a revival of interest in Egyptiana in fashion, design, the decorative arts, as well as spurring an interest in the occult. To meet the demand for Egyptian-style art and decorations, a variety of King Tut throne chairs and other objects were produced. This mask was probably made as part of the 1920s “King Tut” craze perhaps as a prototype for an interior architectural installation. Examples of “Tut-mania” were exhibited in 2014 as part of “Discovering Tutankhamun” at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.
Condition: Generally very good with light overall oxidation and wear. Later mounted to antique pine wooden plaque for hanging.
Masters, Tim. “Tutankhamun: How ‘Tut-mania’ gripped the world.” BBC News. 24 July 2014. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28403598 (28 June 2019).