King Tutankhamen Funerary Mask
American: c. 1920s
Hand-painted cast white metal
11 inches high, 10 inches wide, 7 inches deep
Cast metal and hand painted replica 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 virtually identical in form to the original, except that a ruby colored stone has been placed in the forehead of the replica where a vulture and a cobra, symbolizing rule over Upper and Lower Egypt, are located on the original.
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 either as a decorative object or part of an advertisement or promotion. 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 wear and flaking to paint. Later L-shaped metal bracket fitted to back 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).