A Good 20thC Plaster Death Mask

Origin: English or French
Period: Early/Mid 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1930-50
Height: 9.25”
Width: 6” (at extremities)

The life size thick plaster moulded death mask, well cast of a female, having an ochre coloured slip surviving from the first half of the twentieth century and being of English or French origin.

In original condition the mask is in very decorative appearance, and it remains in one piece without major damage. It does not suffer from any chips or cracks and as such, thankfully, is presented in superb overall order. The piece has some integral metal work to its reverse for wall mounting.

This well refined and well-cast mask shows a beautiful female, calm and serene, at peace with her memory beautifully upheld.

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.

A beautiful legacy.