Polychrome Cartonnage Mummy Ensemble - X.0123 - For Sale

Polychrome Cartonnage Mummy Ensemble - X.0123
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Origin: Egypt
Circa: 1 st Century BC to 1 st Century AD
Dimensions: 54" (137.2cm) high
Collection: Egyptian
Style: Late Ptolemaic /Early Roman Period
Medium: Cartonnage
The preservation of the physical remains of the deceased was an essential aspect of Egyptian funerary practices. As mummification techniques became more and more advanced over time, so did the cartonnage coffins become more and more elaborate. The cartonnage was manufactured by putting several layers of linen (or, much later, papyrus) on top of each other and molding it into a human form with the help of a cast. Finally, the surface of the cartonnage was painted and decorated in vibrant colors, sometimes including gilding.During the Middle Kingdom, mummy masks were made from plastered linen and became increasingly larger until they covered the entire upper body. Eventually, wooden mummy cases covering the entire body became the standard. However, by the Third Intermediate Period, the use of cartonnage to create these innermost coffins was revived, perhaps because the material lends itself to bright painting. Although cartonnage fell out of usage during the Late Period, it was again revived under the rule of the Greek Ptolemaic Kings, beginning in the reign of Ptolemy III and lasting until the earliest days of the Roman Period (3rd Century B.C.-1st Century A.D.).While linen was still employed on some mummy masks and other elements, the majority of works were made utilizing recycled waste papyri. These discarded texts included both public and private documents withdrawn from use as well as literary fragments. Because of the nature of the technique, layering pieces of papyrus over one another and then covering them with plaster, these cartonnages are one of the best sources for finely preserved papyrus scrolls. Today, these Ptolemaic era masks are highly valued by scholars for the fascinating documents they provide.This gorgeous cartonnage mummy ensemble reveals that traditional Egyptian funerary customs continued to flourish even under the rule of the Greek Ptolemies. Originally, the pieces would have been attached to the outer wrappings of a mummy. The intricate painted and gilt details are truly spectacular. The gilt face shines with the light of life, made more luminous by the tri-partite wig, painted blue, that frames it. Flanking the neck, adorning the tips of the wig, two depictions of Osiris seated surmount twin panels featuring a decorative pattern of Uraei cobras. The pectoral portion of the ensemble features a prominent winged solar disc at the top with a fantastic collar below that has been carefully painted to imitate beadwork. At the bottom, the winged sky goddess Nut has been depicted kneeling to the right, her head crowned by a solar disk. The lower apron panel has been embellished with a similar colorful beaded and floral motif, framed at the top by a winged scarab flanked by falcon heads symbolizing Horus. At the bottom, the foot case has been painted yellow, echoing the gilt flesh of the face. In a very charming gesture, the feet have been painted wearing sandals, as if the mummified body once contained within this cartonnage case was ready to walk right into the afterlife. - (X.0123)

Ancient Egyptian
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Seller Details :
Barakat Gallery
405 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills
Contact Details :
Email : barakat@barakatgallery.com
Phone : 310.859.8408

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