[Romano Egyptian]: Mask of a young woman, ca. 200 CE
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Romano-Egyptian stucco mask of a young woman, circa 2nd Century CE. The eyelashes and eyebrows delicately painted in black, with traces of pink pigment remaining on the lips, the whole face covered in a pale pink wash, the remains of the headdress in added black. 4 x 2.5 inches [14 cm tall]. Provenance: With Charles Ede Ltd, London. Property of a private collector, Edinburgh (1938-2021), acquired from the above on the 28 November 1989. Published: Charles Ede Ltd, Catalogue 149, December 1989, no.16.
In Roman Egypt, such plaster masks as this example were attached either to coffin lids or linen wrappings. The masks served as a substitute for the head of the deceased, giving them immortal status while also showing portrait-like qualities. Cf. S. Walker amd M. Bierbrier, Ancient Faces, Mummy Portraits in Roman Egypt, British Museum 1997, p.131, fig.132 and p.157 fig.176.